‘Very poor’ air plagues Noida, Ghaziabad

The cities of Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Gurugram in Haryana all suffered “very poor” air on Friday.

While Ghaziabad had an air quality index (AQI) of 344, Noida and Greater Noida had an AQI of 369 and 381, respectively. Gurugram, meanwhile, recorded an AQI of 344, the worst of the season so far.

Uttar Pradesh pollution control board’s Ghaziabad regional officer Utsav Sharma said, “There has been a rise in PM10 and PM2.5 levels due to road dust, dust from construction sites, as well as stubble and garbage burning. Vehicular emissions are primarily responsible for the rise in PM2.5 levels. To curb this spike, we are regularly surveying industrial units, farmlands and different agencies are taking up water sprinkling on roads to settle dust, among other measures.”

Suhas LY, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, said authorities were working to control pollution. “It (high pollution) is a matter of concern and departments and the authorities are already on the job. They are using different measures such as anti-smog guns and water sprinkling to settle pollutants. We have a two-pronged strategy — first, to spread awareness at probable sources of pollution and, second, to ensure strict enforcement,” he said. The Noida authority has issued penalties worth over Rs 30.94 lakh since last Saturday on entities adding to air pollution, according to PTI.

Sachin Panwar, a Gurugram-based air quality scientist, meanwhile, said the recent drop in quality was “just the beginning” with the interplay of factors such as dip in temperature, reduction in wind speed, and stubble burning.

“We can expect much more severe air pollution conditions in the first week of November, unless there is rain,” he said.

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