Gurugram: Like other parts of the National Capital Region, Gurugram too has registered unhealthy air quality levels, as a blanket of thick haze enveloped the entire city on Wednesday, due to the dust storms in Western India.
What is of serious concern is that the air quality of Cyber City area has plummeted to levels normally seen in winter.
PM10 levels were registered at 400-430 microgram per cubic metre, while that of the more harmful PM2.5 was 200-250 µg/m³. As per World Health Organisation safety standards, the prescribed limit of PM10 is 100 µg/m³, while that of PM2.5 is 60 µg/m³.
If unfavourable weather conditions were not to make it difficult for Gurugram residents to breathe, severe dust and vehicular pollution in the city made matters worse.
Moreover, high concentration of poisonous gases like nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide – mostly released by vehicles– were also recorded on Wednesday.
In order to save costs, a large number of vehicles, especially three wheelers, use high-emission low-quality diesel, causing breathing trouble to residents.
Large scale construction activities and receding green cover has resulted in dust being a major pollutant in the Millennium City.
Even as strict orders were issued by the National Green Tribunal to not allow burning of waste in the open, garbage is regularly seen being burnt brazenly in the open on National Highway-8.
"There is a need for sustained and committed efforts to deal with this challenge. Unfortunately, a few days of favourable weather conditions cannot help us escape the big challenge that surrounds us. Citizens and the government must collaborate together to fight this menace," said Shweta Narang, a Gurugram resident.
"Unfortunately even though the awareness about pollution has improved, the proactiveness about it has not changed much," she added.
Most residents of the city have taken to digital platforms to highlight the challenges that are causing a spike in the deadly air levels.