Air quality dips a day after Dussehra; Greater Noida and Noida worst polluted in NCRUpdated: Oct 26, 2020, 23:35 IST
Noida: Air quality of Noida and Greater Noida slipped a day after Dussehra as parts of the two cities continued breathing toxic air with pollutants more than ten times the permissible limits. The two cities also emerged as the top two polluted cities of the National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday.
According to experts, festival rush along with unfavourable meteorological conditions and additional smoke from stubble burning could be the major reason behind drop in the air quality. Last year in 2019, the festival of Dussehra was on October 8, and met conditions were much more favourable.
“There were no fireworks or Ravana effigies burnt this year, yet the air quality dropped this Dussehra. The plausible reasons could be that meteorological conditions this year were more unsupportive on days around the festival. The temperatures drop towards the end of October and stubble burning increases. The additional emissions due to the burning of the large effigies leads to further deterioration of air quality,” said Shambhavi Shukla, program officer, air pollution at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
According to the data assessed by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), the air quality index (AQI) of Greater Noida was 384 or “very-poor” – the worst in NCR – while the AQI of Noida was 376 against 362 a day earlier – second worst in NCR.
The AQI of Ghaziabad, however, improved to 365 on Monday against 379 a day earlier.
An AQI between zero 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.”
Meanwhile, the air quality slipped further at Greater Noida’s Knowledge Park (KP) 5 monitoring on Monday. The AQI at KP 5, which is one of the two air quality monitoring stations in Greater Noida, was 435 or ‘severe’ against 419 (also severe) a day earlier.
The AQI of KP 3, the only other monitoring station of Greater Noida, was 341 on Monday, against 364 on Sunday, both in “very poor” category.
Officials of the state pollution control board, who inspected the area, held irregular construction activities as the reason behind further deterioration of air quality in the area. They also slapped a fine of Rs 50 lakh on a builder.
“The KP 5 area has a number of construction projects nearby, generating excessive dust and thereby deteriorated air quality. We inspected the area Monday and found that grass was trimmed at a number of places, resulting in loose soil, thereby adding to dust. Officials of the concerned departments had been asked to start water sprinkling in the area to settle dust,” said Archna Dwivedi, regional officer, UPPCB, Greater Noida.
The PM10 concentration for KP 5 for the past 24 hours was 602.66 microgrammes per cubic metres, which is ten times the permissible limit, while PM2.5 concentration was 231.97 microgrammes per cubic metres which is five times the limit.
“PM10 are larger particles suspended in the air and are quite harmful. Their major source is dust, either on roads or from construction. As the temperatures dips, the larger particles stay suspended in the air for a longer time and can lead to heart and lung-related issues,” said Shukla.
Officials said that they also found irregularities while inspecting a large building project at Greater Noida’s Tech Zone 4.
“We have found that a builder of a project in Tech Zone 4 has been carrying on heavy construction without taking appropriate pollution controlling measures. The building materials were not covered and the anti-smog guns were also not working. We have recommended a fine of Rs 50 lakh on the builders under the NGT guidelines,” said Dwivedi.