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Air quality worsens in Punjab, Haryana; flights cancelled

The pollution control boards of Punjab termed the dust storm as a natural calamity and issued a strict advisory as polluted air is affecting human beings, animals and plants alike..

punjab Updated: Jun 15, 2018 22:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Chandigarh flights,Indian meteorological department
There was no sign of sun as a yellow haze enveloped the buildings in Chandigarh. (HT Photo)

With a blanket of haze continuing to envelop the northern region for the third day on Friday, the air quality index (AQI) in Punjab and Haryana has reached an all-time high.

Also, poor visibility due to the haze resulted in cancellation of flights in the two states and the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.

The pollution control boards of Punjab and Haryana have issued advisories that no construction activities, including carpeting of roads, should take place till the haze gets cleared.

People have been advised against taking exercise while those suffering from asthma, heart, eye, skin ailments should stay indoors till the weather improves.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) said Amritsar is the worst-affected with an AQI level of 454, followed by Ludhiana (443), Mandi Gobindgarh (440), Rupnagar (417), Patiala (403) and Khanna (389). Before the dust storm, AQI in Punjab was at a satisfactory level (101-200) on Wednesday.

The extent of air quality deterioration in Punjab can be gauged from the fact that the AQI levels had not crossed the 400-mark even when paddy stubble is burned after harvesting in October.

Even the PM10 and PM 2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10mm and 2.5mm) in Punjab were recorded over four times higher than the normal value of 100 µg/m3.

PPCB has termed the dust storm as a natural calamity and issued a strict advisory as polluted air is affecting human beings, animals and plants alike.

26 flights cancelled at Chandigarh airport

At the Chandigarh airport, 26 domestic flights were cancelled. At the Bathinda airport, flights to J&K and Delhi were cancelled. Flights also remained grounded at the Jubberhatti airport in Shimla for the second consecutive day. At the Adampur airport, the only flight to Delhi was cancelled.

The Delhi-Gaggal (Dharamshala) flight of Jet Airways was diverted to the Amritsar airport due to haze. While some passengers had to reach their destination by road, others returned to Delhi in the same flight.

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 11:51 IST