Visibility in various areas of Noida and Ghaziabad stayed low on Saturday morning, slowing traffic at various intersections. According to officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), visibility remained between 200 and 300 metres throughout the day across Delhi and NCR, including Noida and Ghaziabad.
“The visibility at 6am was about 100 metres, which increased to 200-300 metres after 8.30am. The wind speed is around nine to 10 kilometres per hour from the northwest, which is very less,” said an IMD official at the IGI Airport in Delhi.
“Minimum temperatures in Noida and Ghaziabad have dropped significantly compared to last year. In 2015, the first week of November had recorded minimum temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius whereas this week it has stayed put at 16 degree Celsius,” the official added.
Traffic officials in Ghaziabad reported minor accidents early in the morning due to the low visibility.
“Visibility was very low between 7.30am and 8.30 am, leading to some minor accidents. Although no one was injured, it did slow down traffic. One incident was reported on GT Road near Mohan Nagar where two collided with each other. Another was reported near Hindon Air Force base when a bike hit a car,” said Anil Kumar, traffic inspector, Ghaziabad.
Data from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) showed that particulate matter (PM) 10 levels have remained above 900 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) for the past four days as against the permissible limit of 100 µg/m3. PM10 levels are 17 times above the permissible limit at Kaushambi, nine times at Vasundhara and seven times at Model Town.
“PM10 levels signify the dust in the air. The air has remained stagnant for the past week, which has led to dust particles staying put in the atmosphere rather than being blown away,” said Paras Nath, regional manager, UPPCB, Ghaziabad.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of the Meerut division, Alok Sinha, held a meeting at the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate office in Greater Noida on Saturday morning regarding the rising air pollution. District magistrate NP Singh and other district officers attended the meeting. Sinha told district officers to exhort farmers not to burn crop residue and form of a committee to oversee this. The committee has been asked to submit its report in 15 days.
Additional district magistrate, Bulandshahr, will chair this committee that will comprise of regional officers of pollution control boards of the districts falling under the Meerut division. The committee will organise awareness camps in villages and brief farmers about the ill effects of crop burning. It will also inform them about latest agriculture technologies that do not require burning of crop residue to increase yield. (With PTI inputs)