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UT to conduct study to identify factors responsible for air pollution

The environment department of the UT administration is planning to commission a study to identify the contributory factors that are resulting in an increase in PM 2.5 levels.

punjab Updated: Jan 12, 2018 15:40 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(HT Photo)

Taking cognisance of the worsening air quality in Chandigarh, the environment department of the UT administration has decided to commission a study to identify the main pollutants responsible for the increasing levels of air pollution in the city.

Director, environment, UT administration, Santosh Kumar said, “We are planning to commission a study to identify the contributory factors that are resulting in an increase in PM 2.5 levels. The study will investigate whether the air quality is being worsened due to pollen, stubble burning, use of petroleum products, among others. It will also research upon the degree of damage caused by these factors.”

He added that these elements have not been investigated in any study conducted in the city so far. “We understand that the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur is working on a similar study on Delhi.”


At present, the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) monitors air quality at five places in the city: Sector 17, Industrial Area, Punjab Engineering College, IMTECH, Sector 39, and Kaimbwala village.

The data collected by CPCC over five years indicates a steady increase in the levels of respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM) (PM 10) and high levels of PM 2.5.

PM 10 and PM 2.5 are fine particulate matter which are easily inhaled by humans and can travel deep into the respiratory tract. Their prolonged exposure is injurious to health.

The permissible limit of PM 10 is 60 microgram per cubic metre. However, in Chandigarh, its average level throughout the year is over 100 at all five testing locations. With an average score of 118, Industrial Area was the worst hit location in the city last year.

Similarly, the permissible limit of PM 2.5 is 40 microgram per cubic metre. However, at 68, Industrial Area recorded the highest levels in the city.


Meanwhile, the school of public heath, Post Graduate Institute of medical Education and Research and the Panjab University are also conducting a joint study on the city’s air quality.

In March 2017, department of science and technology, Chandigarhhanded over a two-year project titled ‘Seasonal Variation in PM 2.5 concentration in Chandigarh’ to the two institutions. The joint study is being conducted under this project.

Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, associate professor, environment health, PGIMER said, “The objective of the study is to understand how concentration of PM 2.5 varies with change in season. We are also trying to understand the dispersion of fine particles and their relation with meteorological parameters.”

He added that the level of PM 2.5 almost doubles during winter.

To check how pollution level varies with change in season, experts have placed PM 2.5 samplers in two places—one residential and another at a place where vehicular traffic is in excess.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 15:39 IST