Unholy air shrouds Golden Temple

smogSuspended particulate matter levels around Golden Temple rise due to increasing construction activity, traffic; PPCB, NCC cadets conduct survey

With the construction activity and vehicular traffic increasing in the vicinity of the Golden Temple, there has been a rise in the suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels in the area.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has teamed up with the NCC cadets in the city to assess and tackle the problem.

PPCB experts said the SPM levels in the city varied between 300 and 500 microgram per cubic metre and were the highest in the areas where the construction activity was at its peak.

They added that the SPM should not exceed 100 microgram per cubic metre. Nazar Singh, Executive Engineer of the PPCB, said a team of NCC cadets had conducted a survey of the area around the Golden Temple and concluded that rise in construction activity had resulted in increase in SPM levels.

He added that besides this, lack of rainfall in the past few days and the deplorable conditions of roads in the neighbourhood of the shrine were other factors contributing to the increasing pollution. “We have been keeping a record of all the vehicles that move around in the area around the Golden Temple to assess the degree of pollution,” he said.

Sanjeev Gupta, a Junior Scientific Officer with the PPCB who is monitoring the survey, said SPM levels were alarming near Batala Road and Amritsar-Jalandhar Road, which are the t frequented and in dilapidated condition.

The officials said the PPCB would soon work out a policy to keep a check on the rising levels of pollution.

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