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Stubble burning in north India hitting Goa’s air quality: expert

ROHAN SHRIVASTAV | NT

 

PANAJI

Stubble burning by farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is not only increasing air pollution levels in Delhi and other northern states but also in Goa, as the smoke and dust generated in the northern states travel down to the coastal state, deteriorating its air quality.

Dr V Ramaswamy, a scientist of the Goa-based CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography told  ‘The Navhind Times’ on Friday  that although air quality is within permissible limits,  it has deteriorated in the state.

“The smoke and dust generated in north India travels to Goa, as it is not restricted only to those states.  In Delhi you can see smog… here in Goa people are concerned about the prevalence of smoke and dust at 20-25 feet above the surface.  But the  smoke and dust travelling  from northern states prevail  one to two kilometres above  the surface  level of Goa, and because it gets diluted a

little we don’t feel it strongly, as the case in Delhi,”  Dr Ramaswamy explained.

“The air quality in Goa is not the best in the world, Forget about future; the air quality has already deteriorated in Goa. The air quality here is 40 to 100 microgram per cubic metre which is okay and as per the standards. But when we compare Goa’s air quality to London, we see that the air quality in London is better,” he added.

He said that satellite images are giving a clear picture as to how dust and smoke from northern regions is travelling down to Goa.

He said that due to the burning of stubble there is no presence of nutrients in the dust; and due to dust and smoke the rainwater composition gets changed from alkaline to acidic rain, which is harmful to biodiversity and especially for fisheries.

He said the best way to identify whether the air quality is good or not is to look at the sunset.

“If you see the red sun setting down then it shows that there is presence of particles in the air due to pollution. And if the environment is clean then the sun while setting down will be either white or yellow,” he said.

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