PM2.5 reaches hazardous levels in Ggn
Gurugram: Despite the turnout being lower than what it was last year, a sizeable number of Gurugram residents came out to celebrate Diwali by bursting firecrackers on Wednesday.
This, invariably, deteriorated the air quality, with the harmful PM2.5 pollutant reaching levels as hazardous as 434 microgram per cubic metre (µg/m3) at 11.00 pm on Diwali night.
The situation improved subsequently in the afternoon and evening, when PM2.5 was recorded at 350 µg/m3.
Around 9.00 am on Thursday, poor visibility levels of less than 300 m were recorded in the city.
Meanwhile, this Diwali saw fewer crackers being burst than in previous years. On Wednesday, 18 calls regarding fire incidents were reported, unlike 42 that were reported last year.
Even as the unfavourable weather made the air unhealthy to breathe, matters were made worse by dust and vehicular pollution in the city. High concentration of poisonous gases like nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, mostly emitted by vehicles, were also reported.
To save costs, many vehicles especially – three-wheelers – use low quality diesel as fuel, which further pollutes the air.
Large scale construction activities and receding green cover has resulted in dust being the major contributor of pollution in the Millennium City.
Even as strict orders have been issued by the National Green Tribunal to not allow burning of waste, many can be seen brazenly burning garbage in the open in crowded areas of National Highway-8.
"There is a need for sustained and committed effort in dealing with such a major challenge. Unfortunately, a few days of favourable weather conditions cannot help us escape from the big challenge that surrounds us," said Shweta Narang, a Gurugram resident.
"The citizens and the government must collaborate together to fight this menace. Unfortunately, even though the awareness about pollution has improved, the proactiveness about it has not changed much," she added.