Air quality picks up, experts say respite temporaryUpdated: Oct 20, 2020, 22:48 IST
The air quality in Gurugram improved to ‘moderate’ level, clocking an air quality index (AQI) of 192 on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) daily bulletin, after languishing in the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ levels over the last week. The city had last reported a ‘moderate’ AQI, of 187 on October 11.
Experts, however, said that the improvement is a temporary relief, with the air quality likely to deteriorate in the last week of October.
The air quality had improved on Monday as well, recording an AQI of 245 (‘poor’) in comparison to the AQI of 273 (‘poor’) recorded on Sunday.
The three air monitoring stations set by the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) recorded ‘poor’ to ‘moderate’ air quality. The monitor at Sector 51 recorded an AQI of 246 (‘poor’), while the monitor at Vikas Sadan (within the Mini Secretariat complex) recorded an AQI of 234 (‘poor’). A third monitor at Teri Gram on Gurugram-Faridabad Road, however, recorded an AQI of 131 (‘moderate’).
An air quality monitor set up by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) at the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gwal Phari recorded an AQI of 169. As per the CPCB’s categorization of air pollution, an AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’. From 51-100, it is ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 is ‘moderate’, 201-300 is ‘poor’, 301-400 is ‘very poor’ and 401-500 is ‘severe’. Prolonged exposure to ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ air quality leads to breathing discomfort and respiratory illness.
Sachin Panwar, a city-based air pollution consultant, said that Tuesday marked the beginning of winter, as the minimum temperature dropped to 11 degrees Celsius. “North-westerly winds are blowing at the speed of 6-10 km/hour, which is not allowing particulate matter to stick to the fog, except the particles which are released through stubble burning or sugarcane thrashing. It is a temporary relief till October 25. PM2.5 (ultrafine particulate matter) concentration will, though, remain high from 4am till proper sunrise.”
According to IMD’s weekly forecast, the minimum temperature will fluctuate between 11-13 degrees Celsius, while the maximum temperature will remain in the 29-33 degrees Celsius range.
To tackle poor air quality in the city, various government agencies are focusing on the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap). On Tuesday, nearly Rs 75,000 was imposed as fines for dust from construction and demolition waste from three defaulters, following inspections at 15 different inspection sites. Fines of Rs 1 lakh have been collected from polluting vehicles, while Rs 20,000 has been collected from those burning waste in the open. The prosecution in only one of these cases is related to unauthorised brick kilns.