Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh ‘finest’ in conserving tabs on air pollution

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 28

Among the 23 states/UTs listed in the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), only three — Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab — recorded above average PM10 readings (104 readings are required in a year) in past three years, reveals an analysis of the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme.

While this does not mean that pollution has gone down (rather it remains a concern), the rankings indicate that monitoring is better in Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh as compared to others on the list.

Chandigarh recorded the maximum number of 136 readings. It has five monitors and witnessed a slight improvement in the PM10 level from 105 micrograms/cubic metre in 2016 to 102 in 2018.

With three monitors, Himachal Pradesh recorded three-year average PM10 readings of 125.

In Punjab, Jalandhar and Ludhiana have four manual monitors each, Amritsar has three, Khanna, Patiala, Dera Bassi and Naya Nangal have two each and Mandi Gobindgarh and Dera Baba Nanak have one each. Punjab’s average PM10 readings for 2016-18 remained at 107, which is higher in comparison to West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. With Punjab at a three-year average PM10 level of 133, Himachal Pradesh 125 and Chandigarh 102, pollution levels here continue to be much higher than acceptable norm of 60 micrograms/cubic-metre. Among the 122 non-attainment cities, Ghaziabad topped with the worst three-year PM10 level at 253.

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