AQI 282: Ludhiana’s air quality worsens, residents suffer
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city remained ‘poor’ even three days after Diwali, leaving residents, particularly morning walkers, at the receiving end.
The AQI was recorded at 282 on late Wednesday evening, while it was 260 on Tuesday and 356 on Monday.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’.
When AQI values are above 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy at first for certain sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values get higher.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the average respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) level settled at 282 mark on late Wednesday evening, with particulate matter (PM) 2.5 being a major contributor.
From 12 midnight to 4am on Wednesday the AQI level remained the highest with pm2.5 reaching 309 points. Between 7am to 8am the density of pm10 reached hazardous level of 405.
Vijay Kumar, a morning walker, complained, “Going for a walk has become an ordeal. The day starts with sneezing and when we reach the park, eyes start itching due to the pollution.”
‘Stubble burning to blame’
At city hospitals, which are already grappling with dengue menace, patients also reported with respiratory problems.
According to Munish Munjal, head of ENT department at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, pollution is largely being caused due to stubble burning. “Due to cold temperature, the air gets condensed due to which the particulate matter stays at the surface and poses problems to people,” he said.
However, Charanjit Singh, deputy director of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, said, “The situation is under control. So far, the pollution level is hovering between 260 and 270. Advisories will be issued once the pollution level crosses 350 mark.”