According to experts, the accumulation of both fine and coarse particles in the morning air could be attributed to dust and garbage burning and illegal industries such as scrapping, if operational in the region.
On Tuesday, the values of PM2.5 and PM10 (particles with a diameter over 2.5 and 10 microns) were well above five times the safe or permissible limit according to Indian standards.
As per data obtained from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), PM2.5 ranged from 300ug/m3 to
373ug/m3 between 5am and 8am on Tuesday. PM2.5 further worsened to 404ug/m3 by 10am. Meanwhile, the value of PM10 during the hours mostly preferred by fitness enthusiasts was 500ug/m3 (between 5am and 11am).
While Tuesday morning saw heavy winds causing dust pollution and creating a haze in the city, the pollution levels of the city were well above standard on Sunday and Monday. On both days, the PM2.5 value soared to
461ug/m3 by 7am, which was seven times more than the national standard, and 14 times higher as per standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The permissible limit for PM2.5 is 60ug/m3 as per Indian standards, while for the WHO it is 25 ug/m3. For PM10, the safe limit is 100ug/m3 as per Indian standards, while the WHO considers
60ug/m3 as a safe limit. “Pollution definitely makes its presence known, especially in the morning when I’m running or jogging. It happens mostly in winters, but my friends and I are feeling it now as well,” says Rajiva Singh, a Noida-based triathlete who never misses a morning run or cycling session.
Experts pointed out that multiple sources generate pollutants which congregate during morning hours due to relatively lower temperatures, low winds, and lower mixing height.
“These figures are abnormal. The reason why the pollution level is higher during morning hours today is mostly because there were violations during evening hours yesterday. Garbage burning, illegal industrial activities, uncovered construction sites, road repair works are major reasons,” Shambhavi Shukla, senior research associate and an expert on air pollution, Centre for Science and Environment, said.
According to activists, the city sees multiple violations in terms of open garbage burning during the evening, while many builders’ allegedly irresponsible behaviour leads to dust pollution.
“Garbage is often burned towards evening and early morning hours at several places across the city and remains undetected due to the timings. This is a common sight in most places such as Sector 140A and other places,” says Noida based environment activist Amit Gupta.
Jun 12, 2019 13:04 IST
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