Punjab’s AQI dips to ‘very poor’ on Diwali night for first time since 2017


    Punjab’s AQI dips to ‘extremely bad’ on Diwali night for first time since2017

    Composed by Anju Agnihotri Chaba
    | Jalandhar |

    November 16, 2020 9: 24: 16 am

    Sikh enthusiasts view firework at Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) on the occasion of ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’ (Day of Freedom), a Sikh celebration accompanying Diwali, in Amritsar, Saturday, Nov. 14,2020 (PTI Image)

    AFTER A space of two years, Punjab tape-recorded a ‘very poor’ Air Quality Index (AQI) on Diwali night (November 14) as compared to the same duration in 2019 and 2018, when its AQI was ‘bad’. On Saturday, AQI was ‘poor’ during the day, however early Sunday, six of Punjab’s major cities fell under the ‘very bad’ category of AQI, with Amritsar topping the chart, followed by Ludhiana and Patiala. Much fewer stubble burning cases were tape-recorded by satellite this Diwali, however the major reason for that was cloudy weather condition in various parts of the state.

    This year, according to actual time information offered by the Punjab Pollution Control Panel (PPCB) of the Constant Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations established at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, Patiala, Bathinda and Ropar, the typical AQI of Punjab was 328 (really bad) versus 293 (bad) last year. It was 234 (poor) in 2018, and 328 (very bad) in 2017.

    AQI zones are categorised as per the presence of particle matter per cubic meter in the air– 0-50(good), 51-100(satisfying), 101-200(moderate), 201-300(poor), 301-400(really bad) and 401-500(extreme).

    Based on information, the minimum PM10 in the previous year was 90 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3), and PM2.5 was 43 ug/m3, whereas this year, these are 118 ug/m3 and 90 ug/m3, respectively which is 31 percent and 109 percent increase respectively, more as compared to last year. Both PM10 and PM2.5 were under the ‘reasonably contaminated classification’ based on quality zones categories.

    However, AQI value of Mandi Gobindgarh declined from 311, which was second greatest after Patiala in 2019, to 262 this year. At 4 pm, it was tape-recorded at 281.

    ” The high worth of AQI could be due to difference in the climatic conditions (low temperature level i.e decline of 19 per cent (23 ° C in 2019 to 19 ° C in 2020) dominating during the season, resulting in lowered dispersion of the pollutants,” said Krunesh Garg, member secretary, PPCB.

    Based On Central Contamination Control Board (CPCB) data, the AQI of Punjab’s cities on Diwali day at 4 pm was ‘poor’ in a lot of Punjab’s cities barring Amritsar and Bathinda where it was recorded ‘very poor’ with 313 and 322 AQI levels, respectively.

    However as per the real time information gathered by PPCB from 7 pm on Saturday to 6 am November 15, the AQI of all major cities went into poor quality consisting of Amritsar with 386, Ludhiana 376, Patiala 334, and Jalandhar328 Just Khanna and Mandi Gobindgarh were under a ‘bad’ zone with 281 and 262 AQI, respectively.

    According to CPCB, Bathinda’s AQI was at 354 at 4 pm on Sunday.

    Though breaking crackers was permitted in between 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali night, crackers were burst till late midnight and even throughout the day on Sunday.

    There is a significant enhancement in Chandigarh‘s AQI, which was 145 on Sunday morning, as compared to 267 on Diwali night in 2015.

    PPCB sources said that after commemorating a sort of green Diwali for two years, Punjab once again resorted to bursting crackers with impunity this time.

    Sources said just 352 stubble burning cases were recorded this time on Diwali day versus 2,231 fire incidents reported last year. On Sunday, only 96 stubble burning cases could be recorded. “There were thick clouds on Diwali in numerous parts of the state and on Sunday, it was all cloudy till late afternoon, followed by rain, so setting fields on fire was not possible in the rain,” said PPCB sources.

    In Punjab, 73, 979 stubble burning incidents have actually been taped till date.

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