Lucknow's AQI tagged as 'Unhealthy'; crop residue burning a contributing factor

A drop in average temperatures and occurrences of crop burning has additionally been contributing to this tally in the state.

Given the lockdown this year, Lucknow observed a major drop in the air pollution levels but as the relaxations have come into action, the city's AQI has again been labelled as 'very polluted' as of Wednesday evening. The air pollution level in Lucknow has crossed the 300-mark on the Air Quality Index, making it the third most polluted city in the country. A drop in average temperatures and occurrences of crop burning has additionally been contributing to this tally in the state. AQI in the non-attainment cities continues to remain in the 'poor', 'very poor' or severe categories for October. On Friday afternoon, the air quality has slightly improved and PM 2.5 level was at 119.

Anti-pollution campaign in Lucknow to keep a check on AQI

Data from UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) reported that crop residue burning and construction and demolition activities were the major causes of air pollution in the Uttar Pradesh. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) listed seven cities with AQI above 300 for the category. Three of these are in Uttar Pradesh- including Lucknow, Meerut and followed by Baghpat.

Officials in Lucknow and even in New Delhi, have initiated an anti-pollution campaign in an effort to curtail air pollution ahead of winter, so that the cities aren't covered in toxic haze later on. Lucknow's campaign included stringent checks on vehicular pollution, land filling sites for industrial area and the spraying of treated water from STP, at the construction sites. Lucknow's DM has 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.

According to environmental experts, "In Uttar Pradesh, around 96 flyovers are under construction and vehicular movement is at its peak due to the festival season. Weather conditions are favourable for a spike in the air pollutant levels. Since temperatures are going down, particulate matter is suspended in the air and low wind speed is not allowing the dust to disperse." They further added that as winter is setting in, the situation could take a turn towards the worst and people would be more susceptible to respiratory disorders, especially during the pandemic.

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