Ghaziabad’s air quality dips after Delhi landfill fire - Hindustan Times
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Ghaziabad’s air quality dips after Delhi landfill fire

Mar 31, 2022 12:50 AM IST

According to official records of the Central Pollution Control Board, Ghaziabad on March 27 recorded an AQI reading of 225 in the “poor” category, which increased to 334 and 338 in the “very poor” category on March 28 and 29

The fire that broke out at Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill on Monday affected Ghaziabad’s air quality, which witnessed a spike of over 100 points in the last two days and was recorded in the “very poor” category on Wednesday. Officials of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said that there was an unexpected rise in the Air Quality Index (AQI) readings of Noida and Greater Noida as well--the air quality in both cities dwindled from the “moderate” to the “poor” category in the past two days.

Smoke billows from the Ghazipur landfill after a fire broke out at the site on March 28, in New Delhi. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Smoke billows from the Ghazipur landfill after a fire broke out at the site on March 28, in New Delhi. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

“It is difficult to calculate the exact contribution, but there has been a definite spike due to the hyperlocal impact of the fire at Ghazipur landfill. The AQI readings have also increased in past two days,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of UPPCB.

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According to official records of the Central Pollution Control Board, Ghaziabad on March 27 recorded an AQI reading of 225 in the “poor” category, which increased to 334 and 338 in the “very poor” category on March 28 and 29. Noida recorded an AQI reading of 172 in the “moderate” category on March 27, which deteriorated to the “poor” category and was recorded as 238 on March 28 and 217 on March 29. In Greater Noida, the AQI reading was recorded as 174 on March 27 in the “moderate” category, which increased to 264 in the “poor” category the next day and was recorded at 229, also in the “poor” category on March 29.

An AQI reading between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

Of the four online air quality monitoring stations, the one at Indirapuram and Vasundhara are closest to the landfill site, which is at the border of Delhi and Ghaziabad.

On Monday, after the massive fire broke out at the dumping yard in east Delhi’s Ghazipur, residents of Ghaziabad said that there was a foul smell in the air and they felt suffocated.

“There has been a foul smell in the air after the fire. There is already high pollution in Kaushambi. I had to turn on all three air purifiers in my house. Residents of localities such as Seemant Vihar, which is very close to the landfill, experienced more problems due to the incident,” said VK Mittal, president of Kaushambi Apartments Residents’ Welfare Association.

BP Singh, a resident of Seemant Vihar, said that people in the area were facing breathing issues.

“Our area is located very near the landfill and it is largely affected by pollution from the industrial area. After the fire, residents, mainly senior citizens, have been facing breathing issues as well,” he added.

According to experts, the burning of garbage can cause a suffocation-like effect.

“The burning of garbage releases harmful gases such as methane, sulphides of hydrogen and nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. If the wind speed is low and the air is humidity, the gases can cause a suffocating effect. Further, at landfills the fire burn organic and inorganic matters which also releases different harmful particulate matters,” said Dr Chandra Vir Singh, retired scientist of the Haryana pollution board.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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