The Delhi smog has reached Uttar Pradesh sounding alarm bells with Met officials predicting that situation will worsen in the next two days. The educational institutions of the NCR region have been closed until Tuesday or “till the situation improves.”
Met Director JP Gupta said that as the smog was moving from Delhi, it has covered the western part of the state and by next two days this will cover the whole of Uttar Pradesh. Environment expert VK Joshi has says that the growing difference in day and night temperatures has aggravated the situation. “The difference between day and night temperature has led to dew which when mixed with pollutants formed smog in Lucknow,” he said. Lucknow has recorded a maximum temperature of 30 degree Celsius and a minimum of 13 degree Celsius on Sunday.
Following the increase in smog, officials have ordered the closure of schools in the National Capital Region (NCR).
District Magistrate Ghaziabad Nidhi Kesrwani has ordered that classes up to 2nd standard will remain closed until Tuesday. The DM’s order came after she held a review meeting with district officials in view of the alarming air quality in the NCR.
Gautam Budh Nagar DM NP Singh also ordered the closure of classes up to 2nd standard for two days. Students of other classes have been told that the school will function between 9 am and 1 pm. “We will review the situation and take corrective measures,” he said
In the wake of visible smog, pulmonary expert Dr Suryakant has urged people to wear masks while going out or stay indoors to avoid lung problems. The visible smog, he said, had resulted from a sudden and abrupt increase of particulate matter (SPM 2.5 micron) in the air column in lower layers of the atmosphere. The particulate size is particularly harmful to health as it descends into the bronchial tract, causing various lung disorders like pneumonia, asthma, he said.
“Basically, smog is a combination of smoke and fog, which is visible due to the higher density of smoke being trapped in fog. It remains in the lower atmospheric layer. Inhaling the air containing high particulate matter causes severe damage to bronchia. Higher air pollution levels may take days to settle,” said Dr Suryakant, who is the head of Pulmonary Medicine department at King George’s Medical University.
“The winter normally comes with a line of problems for elderly people, children, and asthma patients. The continuing smog, however, may increase the problems. Their lungs are less able to deal with the pollution. People with asthma may also require extra medication,” Dr Suryakant said.