Air qual­ity de­te­ri­o­rates due to crack­ers

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent lko­re­porters­desk@htlive.com ▪

LUC­KNOW : In vi­o­la­tion of the Supreme Court’s fire­cracker dead­line, peo­ple in Luc­know and some key ci­ties of UP burst crack­ers past mid­night (in fact right up to the Parewa night), re­sult­ing in a ‘very poor’ air qual­ity in­dex (AQI).

Luc­knowites woke up to ‘se­vere’ air qual­ity (AQI 412) on Thurs­day, a day af­ter Di­wali (No­vem­ber 8). On Fri­day, there was a lit­tle im­prove­ment in Luc­know’s AQI, but it re­mained in ‘very poor’ cat­e­gory (AQI 377), an anal­y­sis by the Cen­tre for En­vi­ron­ment and En­ergy Devel­op­ment (CEED) showed.

The day af­ter Di­wali, the AQI in Ghazi­abad was at 422, Bu­land­shahr 418 and Greater Noida 410. It re­mained in ‘se­vere’ cat­e­gory, as per the data of Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB).

The AQI re­mained in ‘very poor’ cat­e­gory in other UP ci­ties like Bagh­pat 389, Ha­pur 378, Mo­rad­abad 371, Muzaf­far­na­gar 362 and Agra 355.

“The Di­wali re­port about Luc­know was in­deed very dis­turb­ing. On Di­wali night, the air pol­lu­tion level went up man­i­folds. It’s an alarm­ing sit­u­a­tion, also a time for in­tro­spec­tion. If the sit­u­a­tion re­mains the same, what we would leave for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” said In­dian In­sti­tute of Tox­i­col­ogy Re­search (IITR) di­rec­tor Alok Dhawan.

The CEED anal­y­sis also said air pol­lu­tion lev­els breached the emer­gency level on Di­wali night and the day af­ter in Luc­know.

The 24-hour aver­age of PM2.5 level on Di­wali (No­vem­ber 7) was 250 mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­ter (mg/m³), which was four times higher than the na­tional stan­dards and more than 1.5 times higher than the level of pre-Di­wali day (No­vem­ber 6) when the 24-hour PM2.5 aver­age was 183 mg/m³.

Winds and more mois­ture in the air on the post-Di­wali morn­ing wors­ened the pol­lu­tion build-up. The PM2.5 con­cen­tra­tion on No­vem­ber 8 was 386 mg/ m³, which was 6.4 times higher than the safe lim­its.

The sit­u­a­tion here is not worse than that in Delhi and its neigh­bour­ing areas, in­clud­ing Gu­ru­gram, Noida and Ghazi­abad, but it is no less in in­ten­sity.

Doc­tors said post Di­wali there had been an in­crease in the num­ber of pa­tients with breath­ing prob­lem in Luc­know.

Di­wali crack­ers usu­ally con­tain sul­far diox­ide, cad­mium, lead and mag­ne­sium. All th­ese when re­leased in greater quan­tity can cause dif­fi­culty in breath­ing for pa­tients of asthma, said a doc­tor at the San­jay Gandhi Post Grad­u­ate In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences.

Not only this, car­diac pa­tients felt rest­less­ness and anx­i­ety, he said.

Shampa (52), a home­maker said, “I faced res­pi­ra­tory prob­lem on Di­wali night and there­after. Poi­sonous smoke in the air nearly choked me. I was taken to a pri­vate hos­pi­tal where doc­tors ad­vised me to use in­haler if ever I ex­pe­ri­ence res­pi­ra­tory prob­lem.”

HT PHOTO

The Supreme Court had asked to en­sure crack­ers are burst in a time­frame.

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