Chandigarh Administration in wait-&-watch mode as smog chokes city : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh Administration in wait-&-watch mode as smog chokes city

Air quality still ‘very poor’ | May improve in coming days

Chandigarh Administration in wait-&-watch mode as smog chokes city

Commuters brave smog on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway; and (below) haze envelops Sector 25 colony.

Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, November 10

The city’s air quality continued to remain ‘very poor’ for the second consecutive day, with stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and poor wind velocity being blamed for the present conditions. The UT Administration says it is closely monitoring the prevailing conditions and will “wait for a few more days”.

The air quality improved slightly in comparison to yesterday, but remained hazardous. The average air quality index (AQI) level stood at 322, against 384 recorded yesterday.

Pradeep Tewari

The AQI level at continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) in Sector 53 was recorded at 345, while it was 313 at Sector 22 and 310 at Sector 25 stations. The index value had touched 452 at Sector 53 CAAQMS, 410 at Sector 22 and 337 at the Sector 25 station yesterday.

Increased AQI levels can cause breathing discomfort on prolonged exposure. The AQI levels between 301 and 400 are considered ‘very poor’ and can lead to respiratory illness.

An official of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee said the main reasons for poor air quality in the city were stubble burning in neighbouring states, higher relative humidity and poor sunlight with lower wind velocity. He said the prevailing conditions would improve further in the coming days.

UT Adviser Dharam Pal said they were analysing the situation. “We will wait for some more days, as it is the effect of stubble burning. Change in wind conditions will help in improving the air quality,” he said.

Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, environment scientist at the PGI, said the city saw its highest AQI levels yesterday. Compared to November 8, the PM2.5 level went up 60%, he said, adding stubble burning along with bursting of firecrackers had added to air pollution and poor AQI.

Since the beginning of the month, the air quality index has deteriorated from ‘moderate’ to ‘very poor’ in the city. On November 1, the average AQI stood at 164, which dipped to near 400 levels yesterday. According to the UT Meteorological Department, the sky will remain partly cloudy in the

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