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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Noida, Gzb air still ‘very poor’, but that’s an improvement

cities Updated: Nov 09, 2019 20:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Noida: The air quality of Noida, Ghaziabad and adjoining regions improved on Saturday with the wind speed picking up and is likely to get better over the next two days.

As wind directions changed from variable (south, east, south-west) to north-west, which despite coming from Punjab and Haryana where the incidents of stubble burning are still being reported, is flushing out the pollutants trapped in the air owing to its better speed.

According to pollution control agencies, the wind speed on Saturday was around 12kmph, which managed to flush out the pollutants to some extent. But the smoke still remains in the air, and given the meteorological conditions, no much of dust was brought to Delhi-NCR from the neighbouring states.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) of Noida, on a scale of 0 to 500, was 302 against 366 a day earlier, both considered ‘very poor (between 301 and 400)’. Meanwhile, the AQI of Ghaziabad was 307 on Saturday against 355 a day earlier.

The pollutants continued to be well above the safety limit in Noida. On Saturday, the volume of PM2.5, or particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5microns, range between 196.89 and 169.97µg/m3. This is at least three times the national limit of 60µg/m3.

“The air quality is likely to improve further and may be in the ‘poor’ category on Sunday and Monday (November 10-11). Predicted maximum mixing depth is likely to remain 1,500 metres between Saturday and Monday. Ventilation index is likely to be 11,000 m2/s on Sunday, and 8,500 m2/s on Monday. If the ventilation index is lower than 6,000 m2/s and the average wind speed less than 10 kmph, then conditions are unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants,” the forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

“The wind speed on Sunday is likely to be around 20 to 25 kmph. This will be enough to flush out pollutants from the region. The wind speed will drop on Monday, however, if local pollutants are controlled, the air quality could remain in poor or moderate levels,” Mahesh Palawat, director, private weather forecasting agency, Skymet, said.

The officials of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said they are taking all necessary steps to keep the local pollution levels under check. Commenting on cases of open burning of garbage, officials said from now, the land-owning agencies or individual will be held responsible for such instances.

“We have prosecuted 19 people so far, of which four were prosecuted this month. There are fewer incidents of open burning being reported now,” Anil Kumar Singh, regional officer, UPPCB, Noida, said.