With no big effigies on fire, Chandigarh breathes easy this Dussehra
Against the AQI of 147 on October 8, when Dussehra was celebrated last year, on Sunday, the figure was 122Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 01:42 IST
As no major effigy burning functions were organised in the city on Dussehra, the city’s air quality index (AQI) during the festival fared better than the last year.
Against the AQI of 147 on October 8, when Dussehra was celebrated last year, on Sunday, the figure was 122, as recorded at the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) in Sector 25.
Both figures fall in the ‘moderate’ bracket.
The air quality is measured through the AQI. Lesser the AQI count, better the air quality. 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. AQI up to 100 can cause minor breathing discomfort among sensitive people, while that up to 300 can cause breathing discomfort among patients of lung and heart diseases. AQI between 301 and 500 is considered hazardous.
According to officials of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC), the AQI remained around 120 throughout the past week.
“This time, Dussehra was held a bit late as compared to previous years. By October end, the city’s AQI usually shoots past 200. However, this year, despite the cooler weather, it remained around 120 for a week, which is a big achievement,” said Debendra Dalai, vice-president, CPCC.
Last year on Dussehra, AQI had reached 149, followed by 206 on October 25. It had peaked to 335 in the first week of November 2019 after Diwali celebrations on October 27.
Pandemic also had a positive impact
Dalai said apart from the subdued Dussehra celebrations, the pandemic also played a part in cleaner air. “Normal life hasn’t resumed completely, keeping vehicular emissions lower than usual. Even though AQI generally rises with drop in temperature, a green Diwali can help keep it low this year,” he added.
Meanwhile, officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said there was no rain on the cards. So, if the AQI starts getting worse, it will take some time to return back to normal as rain helped clean the air.