Air in Sundernagar, Baddi and Manali was bad enough for causing breathing discomfort

Shimla: On the eve of the Diwali festival, most cities in the Himachal Pradesh have witnessed a rapid spike in the pollution levels. As per data provided by the Pollution Control Board, Air Quality Index in Paonta Sahib in Sirmour district was highest with 222, which was bad enough for causing breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure.

In Dharamshala, where the state government is hosting a Global Investor Meet in next week, air quality was also recorded deteriorated as the city was found as second highest polluted with 173 AQI, which comes under Moderate category but bad enough for causing breathing discomfort for patients affected with lung, heart disease and children.   

Parwanoo AQI was 162, while major industrial area Baddi and Nalagarh has shown commendable improvement in air quality. AQI recorded 107 in Baddi against 199 in the year of 2018, while in Nalagarh it was 92 and in previous year AQI was recorded at 181.

Sundernagar in Mandi district has also recorded 150 AQI, little higher than the previous year, and air quality in Manali was also bad enough to make you ill. Manali recorded AQI 114, in 2018 air quality index was 172.

Capital town Shimla also fared badly in air quality index as on the eve of Diwali AQI was recorded 90, which was 76 in 2018. On the ridge maidan AQI was 68. In Shimla old bus stand was the most polluted area.     

As per the data Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) increased in 6 major cities viz. Shimla, Parwanoo, Dharamshala, Damtal, Paonta and Kala Amb in Sirmour district. Whereas RSPM was decreased in Una, Sundernagar, Baddi, Nalagarh and Manali.   

Dr. Manoj Chauhan, Pr. Scientific Officer, confides that the pollution rises not only from burning firecrackers but with the vehicular movements as well. He said that cities like Shimla and Manali witnessed major vehicular traffic and it affected the air quality of the cities.

Air Quality Index of Himachal recorded by the HP Pollution Control Board

    RSPM   AQI  
Town Monitoring Location 2018 2019 2018 2019
Shimla Old Bus Stand 76 90.3 76 90
  Ridge Maidan   67.8   68
Parwanoo Parwanoo Sec. IV 171 191.3 147 161
Dharamshala Dari,Dharamshala 112 113.7 108 173
Damtal Ram Gopal Mandir 74 77.7 74 78
Paonta Paonta Sahib 104.1 156.3 103 222
Kala Amb Trilokpur, Kala Amb 86.9 96.2 87 99
Una Una 102.6 78.8 102 79
Sundernagar Office Building 144 112.7 129 150
Baddi Housing Board 248 110 199 107
Nalagarh MC Nalagarh 221 92 181 92
Manali Nehru Park Manali 207.5 120.8 172 114

Air Quality Index

0-50Good 201-300Poor
51-100Satisfactory 301-400Very Poor
101-200Moderate 401-500Severe