Noida and Ghaziabad were enveloped by a dense smog Wednesday morning. According to Met department officials, the visibility in Delhi-NCR was around 300-400 metres.
“The visibility is better than Monday though it is still poor. Visibility of 300-400 metres is considered extraordinarily poor with respect to the current temperature. As there is an obstruction to sunlight, the weather is expected to remain pleasant in the mornings and evenings,” RK Jenamani, director in-charge of IGI Airport meteorological department, said.
On Wednesday, the minimum temperature in Noida and Ghaziabad dropped to 16 degrees Celsius and the maximum was recorded at 32 degrees Celsius.
“The continuous flow of dry and cold north-westerly winds has also led to a slow change in temperature. However, there will be a gradual drop in night temperature,” Jenamani said.
However, regional pollution control board said the hazy conditions are due to air pollution. “There is a considerable rise in pollution due to obvious reasons (bursting of crackers). Dust particles are also a major reason for the air pollution,” Paras Nath, regional manager, UP pollution control board, Ghaziabad, said.
“Crop burning in neighbouring states has also added to smog in the city. As winter is approaching, these particles tend to stay in the air, making it foggy,” he said.
Residents had a tough time travelling in the morning. “I had to use parking lights while driving as the visibility was dangerously low at 7am. I had to be extremely cautious,” Abhishek Rathi of Indirapuram said.
Many residents experienced respiratory ailments and swelling in the eyes. Some schools are also taking steps to mitigate the ill-effects of pollution.
“We have advised students to either wear masks or cover their nose with a handkerchief. Those with breathing disorders have been told to carry inhalers. We have also installed air purifiers,” Anita Choudhary, vice principal of DPS Indirapuram, said.
Doctors said there has been a 30% increase in the number of respiratory complaints.
“Around 50% of patients in our OPD are having respiratory problem,” Dr Vinay Bhatt, physician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, said.