Punjab, Haryana cities record worst air quality in country

The cities in Punjab, Haryana and its joint capital Chandigarh are among the top five cities of the country in the worst Air Quality Index (AQI) category recorded at 4 pm on Wednesday. Even the national capital Delhi, which has shown the worst air quality until a couple of days ago, recorded less polluted air on Wednesday than the cities in Punjab.

Also, the latest air quality of five cities in Punjab was even worse than that on Diwali night. A steep increase was seen in the pollutants in the past 24 hours in these cities.

According to the Chandigarh Meteorological Department, the air quality will be improved with proper flow of air or moderate rain.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which had collected the AQI of 172 cities in the country on Wednesday, showed that at 4 pm on Wednesday Kurukshetra in Haryana topped in showing the worst air quality where AQI was 449 followed by Ambala with 447 AQI, Khanna and Ludhiana in Punjab with 417 and 408 AQI, respectively. All were in the ‘severe’ category.

Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar in Punjab have recorded ‘very poor’ AQI at 368, 333, and 320, respectively.

Even the joint capital Chandigarh’s AQI was 400 and it was in fifth position while the national capital Delhi’s AQI was at 260 under ‘poor’ category.

As air quality from 401 to 500 mark is considered ‘severe’, that between 301and 400 is considered ‘very poor’, 201 to 300 ‘poor’, 101 to 200 ‘moderate’ and 51 to 100 falls under ‘satisfactory’ level. The AQI up to 50 is considered ‘good’.

Severe air quality affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

The cities of Punjab such as Rup Nagar and Mandi Gobindgarh, also recorded poor AQI at 281 and 219 respectively. Bathinda was the only city that had a moderate AQI of 165 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Punjab reported 1,778 stubble fires on Wednesday.

On Diwali night all the cities of Punjab were in moderate and poor quality air index, with Amritsar topping the chart with 262 AQI, followed by Ludhiana at 257, Jalandhar at 225, Patiala at 224, Khanna at 189 and Mandi Gobindgarh at 188.

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