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Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 2:08 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 2:08 AM (IST)

City worst polluted on Nov 8: CPCB stats

AQI much worse than Mandi Gobindgarh, Amritsar, Patiala as per CPCB Nov 8 listings
City worst polluted on Nov 8: CPCB stats
Smog envelopes the sky during Diwali celebrations in Jalandhar on Wednesday night. Sarabjit Singh

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 8

A day after Diwali, people of Jalandhar breathe air which is of poor quality and will cause discomfort to people on prolonged exposure. The air quality index (AQI) of the city is, hence, worse than the one recorded on the opening day of the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) earlier this year.

The average Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 294 by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for November 8 which means people of the city are breathing poor quality air which will expose them to various ailments. As per the CPCB, a day after Diwali, the pollution level in the city is more severe than those at Patiala, which recorded an AQI of 264, Amritsar, where it was 208, and Mandi Gobindgarh that had an AQI of 250 (44 points less than Jalandhar).

As per the CPCB website, these stats have been received on the basis of readings of a monitoring station in Jalandhar.

Notably, in contrast with the CPCB data, the PPCB’s data released for Diwali claims that the air quality of the state has been better this year with the average AQI for the state – based on an average AQI ratings of cities such as Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh and Patiala at 234. The release states the AQI is better than the previous year, which recorded a state average of 328.

Meanwhile, the monitoring station at Skylark Chowk noted the PM (particulate matter) 2.5 readings at 158.64 UG/M3. (PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter).

While on the inaugural day of the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) on February 8 this year, the average AQI in the city was the worst in the state, listed at 260, the average AQI a day after Diwali even worse, 34 points higher at 294. Notably, even as residents gave two hoots to the SC guidelines on crackers, fireworks marked the city skyline all through the night, until the wee hours today as cracker bursting continued on a huge scale throughout the night.

The city was seen covered with a thick layer of smog this morning, which indicate the high levels of pollution caused by the bursting of crackers.

The health impact of a city with poor AQI results in breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure and risking the lives of those with heart diseases. While people in Delhi already breathe a hazardous air, Jalandhar, which is an industry hub, has been competing closely with other major polluting cities of the state.

While the CAAQMS was set up this year itself, the AQI of the city on previous Diwalis has not been nearly as bad as the AQI on Diwali was noted at 247 in the previous year.

Senior Environmental Engineer Harbir Singh said: “The stats in the state recorded by the PPCB show an improvement compared to the previous years. As far as the CPCB stats are concerned, these are yet to be compared by us. The emissions were significantly lower as much lesser crackers were burst.  In the past one day, the weather has taken a turn. There has been a rise in smoke retention which has led to smog due to the chill in the air. The comparison of the pre-Diwali and post-Diwali emissions in air will be released on November 14. We believe these have been lower this year.”

PPCB Chairman Satwinder Singh Marwaha said: “As per our machines, the average AQI has been listed on Diwali as 234. We don’t know which machines conducted the CPCB monitoring. We are also yet to receive stats for November 8 for the state.”


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