This winter the level of air pollution in several other northern cities was higher than the national capital, data from the Central Air Pollution Control Index (AQI) shows, which means air quality is deteriorating in these smaller cities faster. rate.
As of October 1, when pollution levels in the northern plains began to deteriorate, several northern cities had higher levels of pollution than hi Delhi. Monitoring of air pollution this winter clearly shows that several cities in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have emerged as new hotspots in places like Gwalior and Ansans, which formerly had high particulate pollution.
Bhagmat in Uttar Pradesh had the highest AQI level of 500 in the country on November 4, a day after Rohtak in Haryana climbed the HDCB AQI charts in 102 cities across India. On November 6, the Haryana Indians were the most polluted place in the country. On November 11 and 12, Panipat, another city in southern Haryana, had the highest level of pollution in the country,
Between October 1st and November 11th, Panipat topped the table five times, Indind and Hisar four times, Rohtak twice and Bagpat once. Gaziabad, neighboring Delhi in Uttar Pradesh, was the most polluted place 11 times, Noida twice and Laksh once. The coal-fired city of Talecar in Odisha has also twice lowered the CPQB AQI table, as a result of overburdening of primary pollution and particulate matter originating in northern India, data analysis showed.
During this period, Deli's AQI level was only three times higher, including November 27, the Diwali night, according to the HPCC. To be sure, Delhi has 38 air pollution sensing stations unlike other cities that have up to five sensing stations. As AQI is the average level of pollution at all stations, Delhi's AQI may not reflect the highest level of pollution at a particular location in the city.
"It is not fair that the focus of air pollution is solely on Delhi," said Chandra Bushan, former deputy director general of the Center for Science and Environment. "The data clearly show that air pollution is a problem in the North Indian Plains and in some places pollution levels are higher than in Delhi."
There are two main reasons for the intensification of air pollution in the northern plains – the burning of haystacks, which was raised on October 15 and was maximized on November 4, and the increase in local load. Northwest winds carry stinking smoke from the Punjab and Haryana fields to Delhi and the national capital region and its contribution to the pollution burden was up to 25% this winter, according to the Air Quality and Weather Analysis. research (Safar), a wing of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Experts say the second reason is that there are virtually no action plans to tackle the growing pollution burden in these smaller cities and towns that are not under the radar of the Supreme Court.
For example, Panipat, which has seen a 20% population growth between 2001 and 2011, has seen several new small industries grow and vehicle registrations have almost doubled in the past five years, according to a statistical report by Haryana. 2018. The report shows a similar increase in population and vehicles in Carnal, Rohtak and Indy.
"A number of industries that have closed in Delhi have moved close to the GT Carnal Road between Panipat and Sonipat, thus becoming a new pollution site," said an official from the Haryana Pollution Control Board, who was not ready to be named. He added that a similar trend is evident in and around Rutak, where pollution levels have almost doubled in the past three years. And so is the case of Bhagpat in Uttar Pradesh, which is emerging as a new residential and industrial belt next to Delhi.
The secretary of the Haryana Pollution Control Board, S. Narayan, said they had prepared pollution plans for these cities, which were being implemented by district authorities. "The HPCC is monitoring the situation and issuing guidelines to monitor the air pollution that is being monitored," he said.
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board also has an air pollution mitigation plan, which also monitors PB. "The problem is that these plans are based on assumptions, not real data. We need to know the real sources of air pollution in these cities and then prepare specific action plans for the area, "Bushan said.