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Haryana

Gurugram residents breathe NCR’S most toxic air a day after Dussehra

October 21, 2018 05:33 AM

COURTESY HT OCT 21

Gurugram residents breathe NCR’S most toxic air a day after Dussehra
GURUGRAM/NOIDA: Dussehra celebrations and loss of moisture in the air combined to result in the worsening of city’s air quality, which stayed in the ‘very poor’ category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) rising to 374 on Saturday against 323 on Friday.

YOGENDRA KUMAR/HT PHOTO
■ Gurugram’s AQI was 374 on Saturday and in the 'very poor' for the third day in a row. In fact, Gurugram had the worst air quality of all NCR cities on October 20, the day after Dussehra.
In fact, Gurugram’s air quality, on Saturday, was the worst of all the National Capital Region (NCR) cities. Ghaziabad had an AQI reading of 314, New Delhi recorded 326, Greater Noida 317, Noida had a reading of 319 and Faridabad AQI was 326. All the NCR cities, however, were in the ‘very poor’ category, which is any reading above 300.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’,

101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and

300 is ‘poor’, 301 and 400 is ‘very poor’ and 401 and 500 is ‘severe’.

Sachin Panwar, a Gurugrambased air quality expert, attributed the high AQI on Saturday to Dussehra celebrations.

“The festivities which took place on Friday, and emissions from local sources such as crackers have worsened the air quality in Gurugram compared to Thursday, when scant rainfall had washed some pollutants and the remaining moisture had held suspended particles together. Air quality is expected to get slighty better in the coming two or three days for a short period, before becoming worse again due to stubble burning,” Panwar said. He added that burning of paddy stubble is likely to intensify as more farmers have started harvesting their crops.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) website, the maximum temperatures are expected to stay the same — around 34 degrees Celsius — till

the end of October. Experts said that with clear skies and no significant drop in the temperature, the air pollution will more or less remain the same. However, as the IMD predicts day temperatures to drop around the first week of November, air quality is also expected to deteriorate further.

Meanwhile in Noida, the air quality remained in the ‘very poor’ category as well, and all authorities concerned stepped up measures to combat air pollution, on Saturday .

While the air quality has consistently been in the ‘very poor’ category in Noida and Ghaziabad over the past week. It has been in the ‘poor’ category in Greater Noida during this period.

All authorities concerned stepped up measures to combat air pollution in these cities on Saturday, chief among these measures being streamlining traffic.

The Noida traffic police closed three more intersections and planned U-turns near NTPC underpass, Sector 67 intersection and Government Inter College of Noida to reduce congestion and the resulting vehicular pollution.

“We are trying to ensure that the traffic keeps moving and do not stop at red lights so there is no congestion for at least the next couple of months. At present, vehicular pollution is low in Noida and we want to make sure it is not aggravated during the winters,” Anil Kumar Jha, superintendent of police (traffic), said.

One side of the road near the NTPC underpass will be blocked and a U-turn will be made under the elevated road between pillar numbers 50 and 51. Near Sector 67, a smaller U-turn will be provided for vehicles coming from the elevated road. However, the road will be blocked for vehicles coming from Sector 67. They will be able to use the service road to go up to the next T-junction and take a U-turn

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