Ghaziabad: AQI better at Vasundhara monitoring station this year while Loni suffers the mostUpdated: Oct 26, 2020, 23:34 IST
Ghaziabad: Three of out of the four online ambient air quality monitoring stations in Ghaziabad saw more number of days in the “poor”, “very poor” and “severe” air quality index (AQI) categories during the first 25 days of October this year, as compared to the same period last year.
According to records of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), only the Vasundhara monitoring station saw a lesser number of days under the three AQI categories mentioned above this year, when compared to the same in 2019.
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.”
According to CPCB’s records, from October 1 to 25, 2019 the Vasundhara monitoring station saw AQI in the “severe” category on at least 10 days, but saw zero ‘severe’ pollution days during the same period this year. However, there were 11 days this year from October 1 to 25 when the station recorded “poor” AQI, while the number of “very poor” AQI days dipped from seven last year to four this year.
The monitoring station caters to localities of Vaishali, Vasundhara, and Sahibabad Industrial area, among others.
Likewise, the monitoring station at Indirapuram had, in the first 25 days of October last year, seen three and eleven days under “very poor” and “poor” categories, respectively. However, the count for the number of days when AQI was “very poor” has risen to five from last year’s three, while 15 days were recorded under the “poor” category during the same period this year from last year’s 11.
“There has been improvement at Vasundhara as it is near to the industrial area where we have got the air pollution control systems in industrial units upgraded. Further, factories are running below full capacity, even though some lockdown has been lifted. In addition, last year works for the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME) were taken up near UP-Gate. So, the Vasundhara station was being affected due to the construction activities there. Now, the work has progressed near Vijay Nagar, which is why the AQI is better at Vasundhara,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of UPPCB.
He added that readings at the Indirapuram station are being affected by infrastructure works taken up at the CISF Road and also getting effect of work taken up under the DME project.
“At Sanjay Nagar, we have stopped letting private buses operate from near the monitoring station, and water sprinkling at dust emission sources is taken up vigorously. Further, many school buses used to visit the CNG pump nearby and this caused pollution due to more vehicle idling time waiting in queues. Since school buses have not been in operation since quite some time, the pollution levels have come down here,” Sharma added.
The officials said that the Loni monitoring station is a major problem issue this year as three different agencies are carrying out road infrastructure works nearby, besides instances of waste burning which have come to light.
“Loni is a major issue this year and I have written to the district authorities of North Delhi for joint operation for enforcement and monitoring. It is so because there is a lot of e-waste coming in from Delhi and getting processed in Ghaziabad. So, joint efforts by authorities in Delhi and Ghaziabad are needed,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.
“On the other hand, we have taken up a lot of enforcement work in nearby areas close to other three monitoring stations. This is why no other three monitoring stations, except Loni, have gone to “severe” category this year and “very poor” category pollution has also gone better and now under “poor” category,” the DM added.
At the Sanjay Nagar monitoring station, 13 days during the same period in October had “poor” and “very poor” AQI, while this year the count has risen to 19.
The worst affected station – Loni – has suffered “severe” AQI readings on two days this October, besides 10 days under “very poor” AQI and 13 days under “poor” AQI.
However, the overall pollution scenario in three cities of Noida, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida continued to remain under the “very poor” category.
According to CPCB, the AQI values were at 376, 365 and 384 for Noida, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida, respectively, on Monday.
The officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that wind speed is likely to pick up from Tuesday and dispersal of pollutants will be more.
“The wind speed at present is about 6-8kmph on an average, while it is hardly present during the night timings. From Tuesday, the wind speed will pick up and is likely to be in the range of 12-15kmph, which will help in dispersal of pollutants during the day time. So, conditions are likely to improve for next four-five days but there is no prediction for rainfall,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s Regional Weather Forecasting Centre, New Delhi.