Three Punjab cities occupy the top three slots in the chart of worst Air Quality Index (AQI) across the country, according to data released by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Thursday. Delhi was less polluted in comparison to these Punjab cities on Thursday. In fact, the air quality in these three cities — Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna and Ludhiana — and two others, Amritsar and Rupnagar, was worst that air quality on the Diwali night last year.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Mandi Gobindgarh was recorded at 500-mark, which is the maximum limit in ‘severe’ air quality chart. Greater Noida was placed at the top of the worst air quality list along with Gurgaon.
Khanna was second with AQI at 491 and Ludhiana (488) was placed third. Also, Amritsar and Rupnagar have witnessed AQI of 477 and 438, respectively. All these cities have shown PM 10 as the main pollutant in the air.
According to Chandigarh Meteorological department the air quality will start improving from tomorrow and it was the result of ground level dusty winds in Rajasthan side.
Delhi’s AQI was 431 Thursday, while it was 500 on Wednesday.
In Punjab, in case of all five cities, a steep decline in air quality was witnessed on Thurday. On Wednesday, AQI Mandi Gobindgarh was 323, Amtirsar was at 206, while Ludhiana, Khanna and Rupnagar had recorded 193, 150 and 125, respectively.
PPCB officials informed that Thursday’s air quality in Punjab cities was worst of this season due to low-level dust storms.
Shivendera, a scientist with India Meteorological Department at Chandigarh office said that the air quality had been hit due to lower level dust storms, which were reported from Rajasthan, coupled with the industrial pollution, dry weather spell.
He said that due to bad air quality, the visibility level is also low in some parts. PPCB officials advised people to stay inside and avoid moving out unnecessarily.