Millennium Post

PM2.5 levels in Ggn five times over safe limit

GURUGRAM: With Gurugram at the top of the list of most polluted cities in the country, it was anticipated that residents would learn their lesson and refrain from bursting crackers this Diwali.
And though a large campaign was organised to promote celebration of Diwali without crackers, a substantial number of citizens came out and burnt firecrackers anyway. This led to air quality in Gurugram deteriorating to hazardous levels.
The SC-ordered ban on sale of firecrackers did result in Gurugram recording better levels of air quality than last year. Unfortunately, the slight improvement provided little reprieve to Gurugram residents.
A lot of optimism was seen among residents after Gurugram showed better air quality levels than other NCR cities Faridabad and Ghaziabad. However, after 8.00 pm on Friday, air quality began to deteriorate in Gurugram once again.
Early on Friday, presence of particulate matter below 2.5 microns, i.e. PM2.5, the prolonged exposure of which can cause irreversible lung ailments, was recorded at 420 microgram per cubic metre, seven times above the safety mark of 60.
There was also high concentration of other poisonous gases in form of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide.
The presence of the toxic substances resulted in a thick layer of smog enveloping the Millennium City.
Though the presence of PM2.5 gradually came down to 330 after 9.00 am on Friday, it was still dangerous, for both asthmatic patients and healthy people in the city.
"Even though the air is poor like it is every Diwali, the situation is much better than it has been in previous years. We would have still wanted a large number of citizens to not enjoy their Diwali with crackers. But many of them have shown restraint and acted responsibly," said a senior official from Haryana State Pollution Control Board.
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