AIR QUALITY in the city deteriorated on Thursday. The air quality Index which was within the “satisfactory” levels on Wednesday jumped to “moderate” levels which, according to Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee, will cause “breathing discomfort to people with lungs or heart diseases”.
As the city celebrates Dussehra on Friday when effigies will be set to flames with crackers bursting, the air quality is likely to worsen and cross the “poor” category as well, the officials of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee said.
On Thursday, the monitoring device installed in Sector 50 recorded the air quality index as 187 micrograms per cubic metre per cubic metre which was 83 micrograms per cubic metre on Wednesday.
Similarly, the monitoring station of Industrial Area recorded the air quality index as 127 micrograms per cubic metre which stated that these levels will cause breathing discomfort to heart and lung patients.
T C Nautiyal, member secretary of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee, said that these figures were till 2 pm on Thursday.
“One of the factors can be the impact of stubble burning in the peripheral villages. The governments of Punjab and Haryana are requested to keep a check on those who are practising the crop residue burning as it will affect people’s health,” he said.
The officer added that the condition would worsen on Friday.
“As Dussehra will be celebrated and effigies would be burnt with crackers at various venues, that will add a lot to the air pollution and the air quality index will worsen. People are advised that they should cover their nose so that they don’t inhale the polluted air. Those with lung and heart diseases should avoid exposure to this air,” he said.
The UT Administration has fixed that crackers on Dussehra will be allowed to be used between 5 pm and 8 pm. In Sector 5, Panchkula, crackers worth Rs 5 lakh have been stuffed in the effigy, though the organisers claim that these are “eco-friendly crackers”.
From 0-50 category, the air quality is considered good, while from 51-100, it is considered satisfactory. However, from 101-200 micrograms per cubic metre, the air quality comes within the “moderate” category which cause breathing discomfort to people with lung and heart diseases.
From 201-300, it is considered as “poor” that can cause breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure. The CPCC states that air quality may cross the “poor” category on Friday.
From 301-400 micrograms per cubic meter, it is considered “very poor” and from 401-500, it is under the “severe” category.