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SPCB Discounts Pollution Panic

Bhubaneswar: Amid reports of Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed danger level in multiple cities across Odisha, State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) today clarified that the AQI rose due to local factor and there is no need to panic or wear mask in those cities.

As per reports, of the 16 cities across India that recorded very poor AQI on Monday, six were from the State. AQI of industrial town Angul was 352 surpassing Delhi’s 345, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) daily bulletin. This was followed by Cuttack (340), Bhubaneswar and Balasore (334), and Keonjhar at 326.

Speaking to reporters here, SPCB Member Secretary K Murugesan said, “We don’t have major polluting industries, but vehicle exhaust, and mining and construction dust combine with adverse weather conditions to cause pollution. Once the wind speed increases and the sky becomes clear, the quality of air will improve.”

Veteran IFS Officer, Dr.Murugesan is known for his love for nature and care for environment. He is also Director Environment of Odisha.

Stating the air pollution reported due to local factors, he said, there are some construction works going on near the air quality monitoring stations in Bhubaneswar and Angul.

“The pollution level usually increases in winter, but it is not alarming. We have issued a city wise action plan, instructing the civic bodies to ensure water sprinkling at construction sites and road sweeping. There is no such condition in Odisha to wear a mask. The pollution level will decrease in a day or two,” Dr.Murugesan said.

There is no industry in and around Bhubaneswar. But, the AQI is high in the city in comparison to industrial towns of Rourkela and Talcher, the Member Secretary clarified.  

In Bhubaneswar, construction work is going on near the pollution level monitoring station. In Angul also, some road work is going on, he added.

The air pollution in the winter season is a normal practice and there is no such condition that forces people to wear masks like in Delhi, Dr Dr.Murugesan further said.