THE AIR quality in Chandigarh was at its poorest ever on Wednesday, with one of UT’s air monitoring stations showing a level of severe category, according to the latest data compiled by the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) on Thursday. According to data, the 24-hour Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) level at the UT’s Industrial Area monitoring station on Wednesday was 375, the worst ever recorded. The AAQ is measured from all the pollutants and gases in the air.
According to CPCC, if the level crosses 400, it can affect the respiratory systems of even healthy people. At levels between 301 and 400, those, who have chronic respiratory or pulmonary ailments, risk worsening their condition.
Data, accessed by Chandigarh Newsline, show that on November 1, at the industrial area unit, the PM10 (particles in air with diameter less than 10 mm) was recorded at 190 µg/m3 (microgram per cubic meter). It further increased to 213 µg/m3 on November 3 and then goes to 261 µg/m3 on November 6.
The monitoring unit saw the worst ever air quality on Wednesday after it shot to 375 and the PM 10 and 2.5 also increasing to 357 µg/m3 and 218 µg/m3, respectively.
Five air monitoring units of CPCC are installed at various locations. The 24-hour permissible value of PM 2.5 is 60 µg/m3 and for PM 10 is 100.
At the PEC monitoring unit, the air quality value was 318 on Wednesday. The PM 2.5 value at this station was 105µg/m3 on November 1, while on November 4 and 7, the PM 2.5 levels were 131 µg/m3 and 128µg/m3, respectively. Wednesday’s readings were 143µg/m3.
The air quality in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula has worsened since November 1, with the Met department maintaining that the Tricity has never seen such a situation in the recent past. According to the Met department, local pollution and meteorological factors have brought about such a situation.
According to the CPCC data, the trend of poor quality started after November 1. The AAQ recorded at Sector 17 earlier was 253 and it increased to 260 on November 4 and 362 on November 7. The same trend was observed at two other monitoring stations (IMTECH and Kaimbwala village). The PM 2.5 values at this station continues to increase.
On November 7, the air quality recorded was in “very poor” category. IMTECH and Kaimbwala recorded 344 and 366 on Tuesday. On Thursday, Met officials said smoggy conditions continued to prevail in the Mohali area and visibility was less than 2 kilometres.
Now, all eyes are on a spell of rain. “There is a western disturbance expected during the weekend and it would end the present situation,” said a Met official.