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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Ballabgarh in Haryana records country’s worst air quality

Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service
Faridabad, October 20

Ballabgarh in Haryana's Faridabad district has emerged as the country's most polluted place, with its air quality index (AQI) declining to a low of 340 today.

It is perhaps the first time that this sub-divisional town, a part of the National Capital Region, has fared the worst nationally due to high concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5.

Though the town's AQI level continues to be over 300 for the past four days, it touched 340 at 10 am, according to data placed on the Central Pollution Control Board's environment app 'Sameer'.

Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh was the second worst performer with an AQI of 304. A majority of the cities in Haryana and the National Capital Region recorded AQI up to 283 this morning.

An AQI level of 60 or less is considered "good". It turns "satisfactory" between 60 and 100, "moderate" from 100 to 200 and "poor" from 200 and 300. The level between 300 and 400 is "very poor" and it becomes "severe" above 400.

Ballabgarh's air quality has been on a downward slide since October 17 when it was recorded at 305 for the first time this season. It touched 318 and 320 on October 18 and October 19. Faridabad's AQI has remained between 229 and 293 over the past four days, bettering its worst of 307 on October 15.

Haryana Transport Minister and Ballabgarh MLA Mool Chand Sharma cited stubble burning and construction work at two flyovers on the national highway passing through the town as the main reason for the high pollution level. "The presence of a large number of industrial units and high traffic movement are also to be blamed," he said.

Sharma maintained measures like sprinkling of water on roads to supress dust and action against those violating pollution norms were being taken.



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