The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Chandigarh has been deteriorating since the last 23 days. The city AQI slipped to the satisfactory to moderate category, which is considered to cause breathing discomfort for people with lung diseases and among aged persons. Officers of the environment department attributed the falling AQI to the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
However, the officers maintained that due to lack of any exact study, the department cannot raise the issue with its neighbouring states.
Meanwhile, the Meteorological department said that stubble burning in the neighboring areas of Chandigarh has been causing a rise in temperature. Certain particles are on rise in the environment due to the stubble burning, leading to rise in day temperature.
According to the Chandigarh Pollution Control Board (CPCB), AQI of Chandigarh was the between category of Good to Satisfactory till September 25. Since September 26, it started to worsen in the category of moderate each passing day. On September 25, the AQI was 97, which is of satisfactory category. On September 26, it was recorded at 106. Since then, it has remained between 106 and 131, on October 15. On Monday, the city’s AQI was 102.
“Stubble burning is one of the important factors besides others including vehicular congestion, construction etc that affect the air quality. People are asking us to take up this matter with Punjab, Haryana, but we do not want to take up the matter in the absence of an exact and accurate study. When the study will be held, we must take up the matter with the responsible states,” said Debendra Dalai, Director Environment department.
A virtual meeting between representative of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the CPCB has been set up to be held on October 22, to discuss the air quality level of the city. The NGT will review CPCB’s mechanism to make the city’s air clean and pollution free. An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
“The day temperature is increasing due to stubble burning. The pollutant elements including the suspended particles, PM2.5, will increase more in coming days. So far, there is no prediction of rain in the coming weeks,” said Surender Paul, director of Meteorological department, Chandigarh.
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