With less then 10 days left for Diwali, the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) said that the Air Quality Index (AQI) might deteriorate if figures from last two years are the indicators.
The comparison of figures collected by pollution control committee shows the level of AQI on the next day of Diwali was 240 in 2017, while it was 311 in 2018. The AQI of 240 is considered to be poor and 311 is very poor.
The AQI levels were recorded by five air quality stations situated in Sector 22, PEC, Industrial Area, IMTEC-Sector 39, and village Kaimbwala.
A CPCC officer requesting anonymity said, “As there is no prediction of rain and stubble burning is already going on in the neighboring areas of Chandigarh, possibility of the AQI being worse this Diwali can not be ruled out. If residents take collective decision of avoiding using firecrackers, there are maximum chances that AQI level will improve this time. In 2017, AQI level was better than 2016 because there were strict instructions from Punjab and Haryana High Court for the bursting of firecrackers only between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.”
TC Nautiyal, Member Secretary, CPCC, said, “We are making sincere efforts for encouraging the local residents to celebrate a smoke-free, pollution-free Diwali. Indeed, the AQI was recorded poor in the last two years. The ongoing stubble burning will affect the AQI in Chandigarh also. However, the reason behind the CAAQMS installed at Panjab University (PU) showing the poor quality air level especially in the morning hours is also the ongoing construction work of a building nearby the PU. The construction work goes throughout the night and continued till the morning. It definitely makes impact on the air quality.”
In Chandigarh, only one Continuous Ambit Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) is installed PU. Two more systems will be installed in Chandigarh.
Cycle rally for Green Diwali on Oct 23
UT Forest and Wildlife department will hold a cycle rally October 23 to encourage city residents to celebrate ‘Green Diwali’, Debendra Dalai, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forest, said. The cycle rally, which involves around 100 students, will start from Environment Bhawan, Sector 19.