No respite from smog in Lucknow, other UP districts

Lucknow, Nov 8 (IANS) There was no respite from hazardous smog in the state capital and other districts of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday even as authorities tried to battle the grim situation.

The Central Pollution Control Board has since sounded an alert on smog. Smog-like conditions have been reported from Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Sitapur, Faizabad and Ambedkarnagar districts as well.

The Lucknow Nagar Nigam has announced a fine on burning garbage in the open whereas the Traffic Department has cracked down on polluting vehicles.

“The situation is very dangerous and we are monitoring it very closely,” a senior local municipal official of Lucknow told IANS.

The delayed and knee-jerk reaction of officials, however, seemed a case of too little, too late as the air quality deteriorated to 466 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), a jump of 22 points in the last 24 hours.

The AQI was 444 on Sunday, 466 on Monday and an alarming 659 on Monday-Tuesday night.

Officials and experts say the biggest worry in Lucknow was the fact that for the first time PM1 — one micron thick pollutant — was detected in the air. According to environment monitoring unit of the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, it was a dangerous sign.

Local municipal officials blamed burning of garbage at the dumping site in Barikalan for the smog problem in Lucknow. Officials are mulling a proposal to shut down this garbage dump temporarily.