Lucknow's AQI deemed as 'hazardous' at 413; Diwali festivities may make pollution worse

The upcoming Diwali festivities may take the levels of air pollution to higher peaks if firecrackers and other such pollutants aren't controlled.

Although there's a nip in the air and the weather has gotten substantially cooler, the pollution levels of Lucknow has become increasingly alarming. Lucknowites today are experiencing haze and levels of smog which have wrapped the city in a pale orangish yellow light. The current AQI of Lucknow is pegged at 413, which is considered to be hazardous and the dust arising from several road constructions is significantly adding to the respiratory threats of the residents.

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Currently, several places in and around Lucknow are facing high pollution levels which include Naka Hindola, Gosaiganj and Satrikh sharing the same AQI of 512, Kakori, Malihabad and Mohan with AQI of 338 each, Mahdehganj and Mahanagar with an AQI of 399 and Gomti Nagar's AQI currently stands at 267. As per sources, air pollution has caused an estimated 4,900 deaths in Lucknow, during the span of 2020.

In an earlier statement issued by the environmental experts, around 96 flyovers were under construction in UP and vehicular movement is usually at the peak due to the festival season, which are the contributing factors to the pollution. The present weather conditions are also favourable for a spike in the air pollutant levels. Previously, Lucknow's DM had also ordered for the urgent adherence to Green Net, anti-smoke gun, self-dust control audit, PTZ camera at construction sites and the sprinkling of treated water, in a bid to arrest the air pollution levels in the city.

A resident of Gosaiganj, Raj Khatrani was quoted saying, "I am worried about the present pollution scenario as it is posing severe breathing issues amidst a lot of people. It is even more scary because the coronavirus primarily attacks the respiratory tract and it seems like, precautionary measures can never be enough. We did enjoy clean air due to the lockdown but now again it is all back to square one with the relaxations in place. The authorities need to initiate more campaigns towards a cleaner tomorrow."

Official data has also revealed a record rise in the levels of air pollution in the city due to increased usage of personal vehicles. People in the city are discouraged to use public transport systems due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic. This has had a direct impact on the number of personal cars and scooters on the city roads, increasing the concentration of fuel gases in the air. The upcoming Diwali festivities may take the levels of air pollution to higher peaks if firecrackers and other such pollutants aren't controlled.

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