November 6, 2021 2:02:57 am
Diwali firecrackers affected the air quality badly with an increase in the pollution level in almost all towns of Haryana.
The state government had on Sunday imposed a ban with immediate effect on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in 14 of its districts in the National Capital Region while restrictions were imposed in other parts of the state where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) is in “poor” and above categories.
Gurgaon and Faridabad have been found as the most polluted cities in Haryana with Air Quality Index (AQI) found in the category of ‘poor to severe’ in all 23 towns except Panchkula when the air quality was measured Friday morning.
It happened despite a ban on sale and use of firecrackers in 14 NCR districts out of the state’s total 22 districts.
A senior officer of Haryana State Pollution Control Board admitted that the immediate cause of rise in the pollution was the use of firecrackers on Diwali.
Only in Panchuka, the AQI was found “moderate”.
Even in the “moderate” category ranging from 101-200 AQI value, “breathing discomfort to the people with lungs, asthma and heart diseases” is observed. According to officials, breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure is observed if the AQI falls to 201-300 value for “poor” category. “Very poor” category (AQI value 301-400) causes respiratory illness on prolonged exposure while “severe” air quality (401-500) affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.
At 8 am Friday, Jind (402), Gurgaon (470), Faridabad (452), Hisar (425) were found in the category of “severe” AQI value, including Jind, Manesar, Bhiwani, Ballabgarh, Panipat and Rohtak. Bahadurgarh Dharuhera, Fatehabad, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Mewat (Mandikhera), Narnaul and Sonipat were in “very poor” category in terms of air quality.
The air quality was found in the poor category in Ambala, Karnal, Palwal, Sirsa and Yamunanagar.
The districts where firecrackers were banned included Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Jhajjar, Jind, Karnal, Mahendergarh, Nuh, Palwal, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak and Sonipat.
A similar ban was imposed in all cities and towns where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) is in “poor” and above categories. The government had also stated: “The cities and towns in which air quality is in the ‘moderate’ or below categories, only green crackers shall be sold.”
Member Secretary of Haryana State Pollution Control Board S Narayanan told The Indian Express that the authorities have carried out a drive to sprinkle water to settle suspended dust particles to check pollution at many places.
He further said: “We hope the situation will improve in the next couple of days. We had strictly implemented the directions for a ban on firecrackers. At many places section 144 of the CrPC was also imposed by the DCs. But still it was not 100 per cent cracker free. Still, at many places, the firecrackers were burst illegally. We are collecting the figures of people fined for such instances.”
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration had recently imposed a complete ban on the sale or use of any kind of firecrackers.
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