City recorded Air Quality Index of 302 on Monday, meaning air was in ‘very poor’ category. The most air-polluted locality was Gomtinagar where air pollution crossed the severe levels of AQI 400 in the evening, followed by Lalbagh with AQI 350.
Authorities must pull up their socks to deal with the air pollution as it is expected to rise in coming days due to low temperatures and foggy conditions. Civic agencies need to check open garbage burning and make arrangements for the road and slum dwellers so that they don’t have to depend on bonfires to protect themselves from chilly weather. Efforts should be made to avoid traffic jams since vehicular emission is also a contributor to pollution.
According to experts, fall in temperatures, traffic jams and fog due to which moisture in the air traps pollutants and makes them heavier, not allowing them to disperse easily led to deterioration in air quality. In just a week, Lucknow, which was in the moderate air pollution category with AQI of 104, has witnessed spike in air pollution by around 200 units.
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Even on Diwali night, when people burst crackers, the city’s AQI didn’t cross the alarming 300 mark.
“Pollution control steps like sprinkling water to settle dust, ban on garbage and stubble burning, and halting construction or making green nets mandatory at construction sites should be executed or else air pollution will worsen when the temperature drops,” said environmentalist Prof Venkatesh Dutta.