At a time when the stubble burning cases in Punjab have quadrupled over last year’s figures in the corresponding period, Bathinda Saturday recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 47 making it the only city in the North India and one of 12 across India, which falls in ‘good’ category.
According to the data available at Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website at 4:00 pm on October 10, Bathinda’s air had presence of 47 respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) per cubic metre (mg/cm). An RSPM between 0-55 mg/cm is considered good. An AQI between 101 to 220 RSPM is considered ‘moderate’.
All other major cities in Punjab including Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarh, Ludhiana and Khanna fall under the moderate. Ludhiana falls under the ‘satisfactory’ category.
Amritsar, which has recorded the highest stubble fires this year from September 21 to October 10, has recorded highest AQI of 167 followed by Jalandhar (158) and Mandi Gobindgarh (151).
The cities across India with good AQI included Shillong (21), Kozhikode (30), Kannur (35), Eloor (35), Mysuru (38), Maihar & Rajamahendravaram (39, Amaravati (41), Ramanagara (44), Thiruvananthapuram (46), Bathinda & Gaya (47), and Vijayapura & Chikkamagaluru (49).
Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials said that Bathinda remains one of the most polluted cities during harvesting season thus it is great that it has is recorded ‘good’ air quality.
“One of the major reason could be that Bathinda farmers have mostly grown cotton (1.39 lakh hectares) this time with only around 80,000 hecatres under paddy. Only four farm fires have been reportd from the district so far,” said a senior PPCB official.
Meanwhile, Delhi has already entered into ‘poor’ category with an AQI of 221 Saturday. Bhiwadi in Haryana was most polluted with an AQI of 310.
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