|10||Defence Colony, Delhi|
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live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 161 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Jalandhar is currently 15.1 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Saturday, Dec 3|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 140 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 4|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 110 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Unhealthy 153 US AQI
Unhealthy 161 US AQI
|Wednesday, Dec 7|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 132 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 134 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 137 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 10|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 139 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 11|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 119 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 12|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 126 US AQI
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Jalandhar is a city in India located in the state of Punjab. It is home to some 862,196 people, although this number may have grown extensively since its registry taken in 2011. Jalandhar sees itself suffering from some fairly bad pollution problems, and whilst they may not be as excessive as some of its country’s other cities, it has months of the year that would be detrimental to the health of its citizens.
In 2019 Jalandhar came with a PM2.5 reading of 41 μg/m³ as its yearly average. This placed it into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which as the name implies would have health consequences for at risk demographics of the population, which would include the elderly, young children, pregnant mothers as well as the sick, immunocompromised or those with sensitivity towards chemical pollutants. To find itself in this group rating requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³, making Jalandhar's yearly average come in on the slightly higher end of this bracket.
The PM2.5 reading of 41 μg/m³ was also enough to place it into 221st place out of all cities ranked worldwide in terms of their pollution levels, as well as coming in at 63rd place out of all cities ranked in India. Whilst this shows that Jalandhar does not suffer from the same disastrous levels of pollution that a city like Delhi does, it certainly has its own share of pollution problems that would make the air dangerous to breathe throughout many months of the year.
Based on the readings taken over the year of 2019, each month can be measured via the amount of PM2.5 found in the air. PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, making it approximately 3% the size of a human hair, and thus present a huge danger to those that inhale such fine particle matter. As such, it is a major component in measuring a given areas pollution levels.
Observing the data, Jalandhar's worst month was December, with a very high reading of 63.8 μg/m³ being recorded, putting that month into the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, which requires a reading of 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classed as such.
This is very much in line with many cities in India, which see drastically raised levels of pollution at the end of the year, which often continues on well into next year. However, in a similar fashion to its neighboring city of Amritsar, it came in with an unusually low reading of PM2.5 in February, something that was out of the ordinary for the rest of the country.
To recap, December was the most polluted month, followed by March through to July. January also came in with a high reading of 43.5 μg/m³, whilst February, August and September all came in with the cleaner ratings, sitting within the ‘moderate’ pollution levels bracket.
As with many cities in India and worldwide, causes of pollution stem mainly from vehicular emissions. There are localized issues such as stubble burning practices, similar to the problems that south east Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore suffer from due to slash and burn farming occurring in Sumatra.
Farmers set fire to their crops to clear the ground and return nutrients to the soil in waiting for their next plantation. This practice, when done on a large scale can create disastrous levels of pollution in the air, with the combustion of organic matter such as crops and forestland releasing materials such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the air, both highly dangerous and carcinogenic, along with possesing detrimental effects to the environment.
Other causes of pollution in Jalandhar would include vehicular emissions, with a large number of trucks, cars and motorbikes inhabiting the city and often running on lower quality diesel fuel, as well as having ancient and substandard engines that spew out higher levels of smoke and fumes. Further sources would include construction sites, as well as the open burning of refuse and garbage that takes place in parts of the city.
With high amounts of pollution coming from exhaust fumes, chemical compounds such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) would be present in the air around areas that see large vehicle use. Most pertinent is nitrogen dioxide, which will always see a high-level present in the atmosphere in any area with a high volume of traffic, so much so that it can actually be used to calculate how much pollution is being caused by vehicular emissions alone.
As mentioned before, with the burning of crop stubble as well as other organic forms of waste being burnt in the city such as wood, a multitude of other chemicals and particulate matter such as black soot (and therefore black carbon), benzene, formaldehyde and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons would be released. Additional burning of material such as plastics or rubber would release furans, dioxins as well as dangerous metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. Other pollutants would be various forms of fine particulate matter such as silica dust, gravel and soil dust and microplastics.
Observing the data taken over 2018, it can be seen that Jalandhar came in with a yearly average of 56.4 μg/m³, putting it into the unhealthy bracket for the year. This was followed in 2019 by the reading of 41 μg/m³, showing a marked improvement that moved it down a bracket. However, this is still a high reading, capable of causing harm to its citizens when respired over long periods of time.
On a positive note (in regards to pollution levels), with the lockdown of 2020 occurring due to the covid-19 crisis, and prime minister Narendra Modi locking down the whole country, the massive drop in pollution levels made residents of Jalandhar be able to see the Dhauladhar mountain range, part of the Himalayan mountains in Himachal Pradesh. This is something that has not occurred in over 30 years, with the mountain range having been completely blotted out due to smoke and pollution being a permanent fixture in the air.
Whilst such a sight may be short lived when normal life and activity resumes, it shows that with the reduction in vehicular use, came a massive drop in pollution levels. To finish, from 2018 to 2019 a marked improvement in pollution levels was seen, and this was increased even more so in 2020 due to the restriction of movement.