Congratulations, Lucknowites! We have once again managed to make Lucknow one of the most polluted cities in the country. With an AQI of 422 following Diwali, the pollution level in the city is extremely alarming due to over zealous Diwali celebrations. Citizens must now brace themselves for a rise in AQI (air quality index), smog and a murky winter.

Indiranagar and Vikasnagar are two of the most highly polluted areas in Lucknow. Indiranagar, has consecutively been ranked as ‘severely polluted’ for the past five years and the latter is catching up fast with the fastest rise in pollution index, according to reports.

The air in Indiranagar has seen a rise in the PM 10 pollutant by a whopping 46 units in the past ten years, while the pollutant has risen by 50 units in Vikasnagar.

According to Indian Institute of Toxicology Reseasrch (IITR) officials, the main reason for growing pollution in Vikasnagar and Indiranagar is the loss of the vast green belt due to the ongoing construction activities. Though development projects in the area are necessary, they must not take a toll on the air quality in its vicinity, the official added.

Residents of all affected areas expressed their displeasure at the same and cited the example of Gomti Nagar and other less polluted areas, saying that since they have more green cover and planned roads the pollution is less rampant. Others have traced the source of the pollution to be rising dust, garbage burning activities near the region and of course, Diwali Celebrations.

Screen shot shared with Knocksense on November 7th

In other regions as well, the air quality has taken a drop. The major reason for this is the celebration of Diwali with a bang. Even after the government’s ruling to ban crackers, it did not have much of and effect on residents who went overboard with celebration and will not lift a finger to help towards the betterment of the city. The major pollutant is seen to be PM 2.5.

The government has taken appropriate measures to curb the pollution but not much can be done while garbage is burnt in the open, unabated construction and the near exponential increase in the number of vehicles. In addition, the only way to change the mindset of people if the government strikes fear in their hearts. We hope to see some improvement in Lucknow before the pollution has a severe effect on the lives of residents.

Lucknow's Munick Bistro has us clean-bowled with their offers this IPL season! Get 2+2 on drinks

We honestly cannot wait to be here with our buddies, just like the good ol' times!

Munick Bistro & Bar has always been on our list of favourite chill spots in Lucknow and it's always a moment of sheer joy whenever we step in here! Exclusively for the IPL Season, Munick has announced offers which will have you calling your friends right after you finish reading this. So if you're looking for a place to let loose with your folks while eating good food and watching the IPL, this is where you've gotta be.

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Lucknow becomes the launchpad for Uttar Pradesh's integrated COVID-19 portal & mobile app

The new Covid-19 application will help in better tracking of the pandemic in the state

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister inaugurated the state's integrated COVID-19 forum in Lucknow, on Sunday. The application, labreports.upcovid19tracks, has been programmed and designed to digitally set up a means to trace and control the trend of exponential community spread of the novel coronavirus, helping the state to curb the transmission & growth rate of the infection.

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350km from Lucknow, 'Bhagwati Van' to be the spiritual tourism hub in UP

A total of 3.5 lakh trees, of more than 250 species, have been planted at Bhagwati Van!

The Uttar Pradesh government plans to develop an eco-tourism spot that could provide a perfect place for people looking for a spiritual sojourn. The government has decided to develop the Bhagwati Van along the Ganga, in Kasganj district, as a centre for spiritual tourism.

The Bhagwati Van is a man-made forest which is unique in more ways than one. The forest has been raised over 316 hectares of land, which has been reclaimed by the state government from encroachers. A total of 3.5 lakh trees, of more than 250 species, have been planted here.

Divisional forest officer (DFO), Kasganj, Diwaker Kumar Vashisht said, "We had been meeting villagers and convincing them since October last year to remove the encroachments. After the villagers agreed to vacate the land, we formed a local 'samiti' of villagers. It was all done without any public agitation."

The forest, which has its base in Puranic scriptures, is at Datlana Khaam village and has been declared as a Ganga 'gram'."It has Soronji 'teerth' and devotees from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other states come to this shrine," said Vashisht.

The entire reclaimed land is divided into three parts. The forest raised at the spot has trees planted in specific formations to create 'vatikas' (gardens) mentioned in religious scriptures.

"We planted over two lakh trees in Mahavan forest, which is one of the three parts and has species like Sheesham and Khair that are naturally found along the Ganga. The other part is 'Shreevan', which has connection with 'Arth Ganga' under the central government's Namami Gange project. This has species which will be economically beneficial to farmers. We had promised farmers that we would help them increase their income through this plantation," he said.

The third is 'Tapovan' which has 51,000 trees and Vyas and Vidur 'kutirs'. At present, the forest is being managed by the forest department but later local groups of villagers may look after it.

The 'Dhanvantari Vatika' has 75 types of medicinal plants and herbs. The 'Nakshatra Vatika' has 27 tree varieties, planted in specific positions to represent 27 'nakshatras' (planets).

The 'Navgrah Vatika', planted to manage planetary influences, is also a part of it. 'Harishankari', has trees like 'peepal, pakad and bargad' planted together. The three tree varieties represent the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. 'Panchvati', the garden of five tree varieties mentioned in the Ramayana, also finds place here.

- With inputs from IANS

One of Lucknow's iconic attractions, the Chhota Imambara now stands 'scarred' by the Lucknow Police that has established a police outpost at its facade. This massacre of the city's tourist magnet is a major violation of the rule of the Archeological Survey of India and Hussainabad Allied Trust.

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Lucknow accounts for every 5th Coronavirus case reported in Uttar Pradesh

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