TAD NewsDesk, NEW DELHI: On September 28, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) notified that the air above Indo-Gangetic Plains region has become weighted with particulate matter (PM) yet again.
The Central Pollution Control Board of India is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, established under the Water Act, 1974.
The CPCB supervises State Pollution Control Boards, technically assisting them in controlling water and air pollution. The advisory body is also authorized to enforce environmental protection laws and maintains records of water and air quality in different states.
The recent bulletin published by CPCB strongly indicated the deterioration of air quality since the stubble burning period began in Western UP, Punjab and Haryana, post the harvesting of Kharif crops. The cities of the National Capital Region, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were identified as the immediate victims of the dust-laden winds coming from Western India.
Lucknow and areas in Delhi like Bhawana, Mathura road, Dwarka Sector-8 and Mundka have already entered the league of states with a poor‘ Air Quality Index (200-300 PM). In comparison, the ‘moderate’ category (100-200 PM) found the mention of districts like Bulandshahr, Ballabhgarh, Bhiwadi, Hapur, Manesar, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida. Unfortunately, some of these regions are on the verge of slipping into the ‘poor’ category, owing to the heavy concentration of soot caused by paddy stubble burning.
“Also, the economy is comparatively stagnant. Vehicles on roads are less for now. So combustion sources, that lead to PM2.5, are less compared to PM10,” Vivek Chattopadhyaya, Programme Manager, Clean Air Programme, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, said.
Moreover, NASA’s satellite data lately displayed a hike in farm fires, often located in and around Punjab and Haryana. PM10 or coarse particulate matter was pinpointed as the dominant pollutant that has the potential to induce respiratory diseases such as bronchoconstriction.
North India, which was experiencing clear skies due to the decline in vehicular pollution during the lockdown, now finds itself enveloped in a dust-covered blanket of air again.