- Dusty weather led to a spike in air pollution in parts of Haryana, Punjab
- Haryana pollution board puts a stop on civil construction for two days
- The meteorological department said the situation would improve only by June
Chandigarh: Low visibility due to dusty weather conditions led to cancellations of all flights to and from the Chandigarh International Airport, while the Haryana pollution control Board advised against construction activities in National Capital Region (NCR) districts for the next two days. Dusty weather prevailed in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, and visibility levels dropped. The meteorological department said the situation would improve only by June 15.
A Chandigarh International Airport Limited official said, “As a result of disruption due to bad weather, all flights from Chandigarh were cancelled today.”
The weather department here said a ground-level dust storm in Rajasthan, with wind speeds up to 40 kmph, had led to a spike in the levels of coarse particles in the air in most parts of Haryana and Punjab, including Chandigarh, since yesterday.
Director of Chandigarh’s MeT Department Surinder Paul told PTI that a western disturbance approaching the region was likely to clear the air. Meanwhile, the maximum temperatures registered a drop of 2-5 degrees Celsius today. Thunderstorm with squall is likely at isolated places of Haryana and Punjab on June 15 and 16, the MeT department said.
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) today issued advisory that no construction activities should be carried out for the next two days in districts falling under National Capital Region (NCR). It also advised that no hot mix plants and stone crushers be operated for the next two days in the districts.
“Delhi and NCR areas and other parts of Haryana have been experiencing a very severe air pollution due to dust storm with PM 2.5 level crossing even 500g/m3 and considerably higher PM 10 values.
“These dust storms have been attributed to storm and the winds coming from the regions of Rajasthan and beyond. Meteorological Department has informed that similar conditions will continue to prevail for next few days,” the advisory stated.
Taking cognizance of these facts, the Pollution Control Board has also issued an advisory to all deputy commissioners and municipal commissioners of NCR districts in Haryana to ensure frequent sprinkling of water to help settle the dust, to keep strict vigil on the garbage burning activities through deployment of special teams, increasing frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads and identifying road stretches with the high dust generation for addressing the issues.
The board has also requested the Haryana health department to issue an advisory to the public on precautions to be taken during dusty weather conditions. Haryana’s Environment Minister Vipul Goel said the HSPCB was monitoring the pollution level and would advise further necessary steps in consultation with the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority and the Central Pollution Control Board.
The air quality in parts of Punjab also took a hit due to dust and hazy weather. An official of the Punjab Pollution Control Board pointed out that air quality index was alarmingly high in many cities of the state due to dust pollution. The air quality index level recorded in many cities of Punjab today was way above permissible limits. In Jalandhar, it was 425, in Ludhiana 488 and in Patiala it was 456.
The official said children and aged people should take every precaution and avoid going out as the prevailing weather condition could adversely impact their health.