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Pollution Alert: Air quality in Lucknow deteriorates

With Air Quality Index rapidly increasing because of the ongoing construction and the onslaught of smoke coming in from the Punjab-Haryana crop burning, Lucknow suffers.

Lucknowites have not found a respite from the pollution due to relentless construction all over the city. The unabated construction has been blamed for endless traffic woes and worsening air quality. And metro construction over the last several years has also been a culprit.

“The metro construction is one of the biggest polluters in the city. Because of it, roads are blocked and traffic jams are caused.” Imran a resident of Indira Nagar told Knocksense. Metro has been one of the major contributing factors to the increasing air pollution, even though Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (now UPMRC) has been trying to check this.

Construction work being completed by Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation last month. 
Construction work being completed by Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation last month. 
Kapil Roy

“In every street corner you’ll find a pile of garbage being burnt. Toxins are released in the air unchecked and then people wonder why it has become difficult to breathe in the city” Sonal, a resident of Jankipuram Extension said while talking to Knocksense about the factors contributing to Lucknow’s air pollution.

Lucknow, last year itself, was on the list of the most polluted cities in India (and the world). Air pollution in Lucknow this year is already worse than what it was last year. Experts and authorities though, have been trying to find a solution to the problem but the condition is exacerbated by increased vehicular pollution. In October this year the air quality in Lucknow was deemed as poor which could lead to breathing discomfort for most people on prolonged exposure.

Pollution Alert: Air quality in Lucknow deteriorates
AQI by Pankhuri Agarwal

The air quality in Lucknow likely to deteriorate even further due to crop burning in Harayana and Punjab. As the farmers prepare for a change in the crop season from Kharif to Rabi, paddy stubble burning is set to rise, which becomes an immediate concern because of the toxic residue. Delhi-NCR and the nearby areas have gone on a pollution alert because of the stubble burning. The pollution is likely to spread from Punjab-Haryana to Delhi-NCR to Lucknow

Pollution Alert: Air quality in Lucknow deteriorates
Picture Credit: The Indian Express

Lucknow struggled with poor air quality and smog at the start of winters last year. This year also the scenario may not improve. Experts are concerned about the ill-effects of the air pollution and the resultant increase in incidence of diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and asthma.

With Diwali around the corner, we can expect pollution to worsen. Lucknow authorities may need to take immediate steps to ameliorate the condition and residents of the capital. Meanwhile the residents may have to prepare to combat the pollution.