Two days after, Patiala records worst air quality in Punjab
Amritsar close second on Tuesday with AQI of 272 among state’s major cities; Bathinda lowest on index at 182Updated: Oct 29, 2019, 23:14 IST
Patiala on Tuesday recorded the worst air quality among all major cities of Punjab two days after Diwali with the index hovering over the 290 mark, even as it improved a little bit from Monday’s level.
Most of the large cities in the state On Monday recorded the air quality index (AQI) above 300, categorised as ‘very poor’, with Jalandhar topping the chart at 363.
Patiala’s AQI level was 307 and 357 on Sunday and Monday. The air quality at 292, which falls in ‘poor’ bracket, can cause breathing discomfort to most people due to prolonged exposure. The index below 100 is considered safe.
The continuous ambient air-quality monitoring stations recorded 272 AQI level in Amritsar, 228 in Jalandhar, 258 in Ludhiana, 236 in Mandi Gobindgarh, and 211 in Khanna.
The air quality in Bathinda and Rupnagar was found moderate at 182 and 114.
A Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) official said bursting of crackers along with rampant stubble burning doubled the pollution level in the state.
Board deputy director Charanjit Singh said though farm fire cases remain a cause of concern, the air quality data shows decline in pollution levels than previous years during Diwali.
“Awareness campaigns to observe a green Diwali helped minimise air pollution this time. Even our field officers along with police patrolled the cities to implement the Supreme Court’s orders on bursting of crackers,” he added.
A senior agriculture department official said there is nothing much to cheer about as the paddy harvesting is in its full swing and so is stubble burning.
“Though the farmers are being sensitised about the ill-effects of stubble burning, the dearth of straw-management machinery and lack of financial assistance to small farmers is forcing them to set paddy leftover on fire,” he added.