Residents of several cities and towns of Haryana on Monday heaved a sigh of relief as the air quality returned to “moderate” and “satisfactory” from “severe” and “very poor” categories, courtesy recent showers that lashed the region.
In Monday’s air quality bulletin released by the Central Pollution Control Board, not even a single city out of 20 in Haryana mentioned in the bulletin had “severe” and “very poor” Air Quality Index (AQI).
As per the bulletin, the air quality of only four cities — Fatehabad, Hisar, Gurugram and Manesar — was categorised as “poor”.
It was the first time since the harvesting of paddy began in October that the AQI of Ambala, Ballabgarh, Kaithal and Panchkula was found “satisfactory”, while that of Sirsa, Panipat, Rohtak, Palwal, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwani, Faridabad, and Kurukshetra returned to “moderate” from “very poor” and “poor” levels.
As per officials from the state pollution control board, after a dry spell of about two months, rain has improved the air quality of the entire state.
However, incidents of stubble burning were still being reported with the number of farm fires crossing the 9,000 mark. Officials believe that there is very less possibility of air quality getting affected in days to come as the harvesting of crop has already ended.
Haryana State Pollution Control Board member secretary S Narayanan said, “The air quality of all cities has improved considerably after rain as there is not even a single city that was in the category of severe or very poor.”
On whether there is a possibility that the air quality may deteriorate again, he said, “We hope that the air quality will remain at the same level in future.Our efforts are still on and will sustain for another one crucial week. We expect cooperation from farmers as well.”
Putting a check on burning of crop waste still remains a major challenge for the authorities as Haryana has reported 209 incidents of farm fires in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of AFLs to 9,040 against 6,364 incidents reported in 2019. The figure may cross the 10,288 mark attained in 2018.
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