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Noida pollution level goes from ‘severe+’ to ‘satisfactory’ in 15 days, courtesy monsoon

From June 12 to 16, the air quality had plummeted and the index value had reached over 900 in parts of Delhi-NCR, including Noida and Ghaziabad.

noida Updated: Jun 30, 2018 13:44 IST
Snehil Sinha
Snehil Sinha
Hindustan Times, Noida
noida,pollution in noida,air quality in noida
Air quality in Noida had worsened to ‘severe plus’ earlier in June but thanks to rainfall on Wednesday night, pollution reduced . (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

For the first time since last November, air quality recorded in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad on Thursday and Friday was within the ‘satisfactory’ category.

Earlier this month, the air quality had worsened to ‘severe plus’, which led to the administration initiating emergency measures. The sudden spike in pollution levels was because of the dust-carrying winds that had entered from Rajasthan, according to the pollution control board. However, after the rainfall on Wednesday night, pollution has reduced, bringing relief to residents.

“The spike during mid-june and the marked reduction in pollution levels now are both due to natural factors and cannot be attributed to any man-made disturbance that we can control. However, the lesson here is that we need to maintain good tree cover to avoid dust pollution,” Utsav Sharma, assistant environmental engineer, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), said.

He added that since desertification around the Aravalli barrier is being attributed to the Rajasthan winds affecting pollution levels in NCR, better tree cover needs to be maintained in the city. The Aravalli forest area, in parts of Rajasthan and Haryana, is being constantly degraded due to illegal mining and encroachment.

From June 12 to 16, the air quality had plummeted and the index value had reached over 900 in parts of Delhi-NCR, including Noida and Ghaziabad. Officials said that ever since air quality index (AQI) monitoring began, this was the first time that pollution had increased to such levels.

Poor air quality can lead to breathing discomfort for people with asthma, heart diseases and respiratory diseases, and can seriously impact those with other existing diseases. This needs to be especially taken care of in Noida, where PM10 is the major pollutant.

PM10 is the bigger particulate matter that is spread due to dust from industries and construction work. On Friday, the AQI of Noida and Ghaziabad was 68, and that of Greater Noida was 83.

The Gautam Budh Nagar administration is planning to make the district a ‘zero pollution tolerance’ zone. In this respect, the administration has been taking steps to monitor construction sites and industries, and is also working towards rejuvenating ponds and other small water bodies.

“Though pollution levels are usually low during the monsoon, we will continue to be vigilant against violators of pollution norms. We will increase monitoring and enforcement, and no laxity will be tolerated. We expect alert citizens to help with reporting violations,” BN Singh, district magistrate, said.

Meanwhile, experts said that pollution levels will remain low throughout the monsoon season, since dust particles will settle. This is an annual trend that has been observed over several years.

First Published: Jun 30, 2018 13:43 IST