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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Dussehra day: Punjab cities record ‘satisfactory to moderate’ AQI, poor air in 7 cities of Haryana

Experts said this is good from an environmental point of view as farmers have already started burning their fields to clear stubble before sowing of the next crop. However, they warned that air quality may deteriorate at night because effigies of Ravana are burnt in the evening.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
October 17, 2021 5:58:08 am
Effigy of Ravana goes up in flames during Dussehra celebration at Parade ground in Sector 17 of Chandigarh. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

ON DUSSEHRA day, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of cities of Punjab came under the ‘satisfactory to moderate’ categories, while seven cities of neighbouring Haryana came under the ‘poor’ AQI zone. Experts said this is good from an environmental point of view as farmers have already started burning their fields to clear stubble before sowing of the next crop. However, they warned that air quality may deteriorate at night because effigies of Ravana are burnt in the evening. .

According to data available on the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, on Friday, Amritsar’s AQI was ‘moderate’ and Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) per cubic meter (mg/cm) was 116. RSMP between 0-55 /cubic meter (mg/cm) in the air is considered to be good quality air and it is permissible/satisfactory upto 100 RSPM. The moderate limit of AQI is between 101 to 220 RSPM.

The AQI of all other major cities was also recorded as ‘satisfactory and moderate’. Jalandhar recorded 91 AQI (satisfactory), Khanna recorded 139 (moderate), Patiala’s AQI was 77 (satisfactory), Mandi Gobindgarh recorded a ‘satisfactory’ AQI of 99, Ludhiana’s AQI was 113 (moderate), Rupnagar’s AQI was ‘satisfactory’ at 94. The AQI of Delhi and Chandigahrh were 198 and 195 respectively, which fall under ‘moderate’ category but very close to ‘poor’ category.

In Haryana however, seven cities recorded poor AQI including Bhiwadi, Yamunanagar, Rohatak and Jind topping the list with 276, 236 222 and 222 respectively. Fatehabad, Manesar, Hisar, Faridabad, and Bahadurgarh also recorded ‘poor’ AQI with 220, 216, 211,211, 211 respectively.

Ten cities that recorded ‘moderate’ AQI included Gurugram (195) Panipat (190), Kurukshetra (180), Sonepat (164), Charkhi Dadri (157), Bhiwani (152), Sirsa (137), Kaithal (136), Narnaul (105), Panchkula (102).

Meanwhile, stubble burning in Punjab has been going on ever since paddy harvesting started. The Punjab government has already appointed over 8,000 nodal officers and 1,286 stubble fires were recorded till October 14 including 423 at Amritsar and 314 at Tarn Taran districts.

PPCB has so far imposed Rs 5.91 lakh environmental compensation in 220 cases and ‘red entries’ made in Khasra Girdawari (land records registered) in 33 cases.

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