As Delhi’s air quality worsens every day, a similar situation has been observed in one of India’s most visited destination – Haridwar. Pollution in Haridwar has been in news for about a few years now. As the tourist population of Uttarakhand is rising, naturally the pollution level is increasing.
The constant rise in industrial emission, stubble burning, and forest fire has resulted in air pollution in Haridwar. Weather reports suggest that Haridwar weather is getting hotter during summers due to unusual weather pattern.
The locals say that the city is facing major water and air pollution issue. Local government authorities have done no more than little to control the issue. Similar to major city people, Haridwar and Rishikesh are also choking on hazardous air quality. The increase in PM 2.5 in the city’s air quality is the real reason for major respiratory issues among the people.
PCRI (Pollution Control Research Institute) recently reported that the presence of PM 2.5 – one of the deadliest air components, causes chronic health issues.
Fine particulate matter can pose a great health risk and can have both long-short-term effects. Breathing PM 2.5 can be dangerous and it can minimize the human heart and lung functionality.
Tourist destination such as Dehradun, Nainital, Haridwar and Rishikesh witnesses over thousands of visitors everyday traveling via Government transport services or by own mode of the vehicle. The increase in the number of vehicles emits harmful substances that pose a serious threat to not only the tourists but also the locals residing in the city.
Ambrish Gupta of Pollution Control Research Institute says, “The actual cause of increasing air pollution which is reported highest during the summer season in Haridwar is vehicular emission. The tourist influx in the city leads to excessive movement of vehicles.”
Haridwar is about 223 km away from the national capital of India, New Delhi. Currently, the capital sees a daily average of AQI as 97 (Moderate Air Quality Index), while Hardiwar is 174 which is poor air quality.
“There are few recommendations like phasing out vehicles that have completed 15 years cycle, restricting public transport with only four-stroke engines, modification of engines and others,” said SP Subuddhi, member secretary of the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB).
New Delhi, particularly has become an epicenter for the country’s pollution crisis, since harmful air substance has covered the city’s air. At the same time, neighboring cities have also started to declare public health emergency which has now become a debatable topic.
Are we going to wait for the impending disaster to sweep us all or going to take immediate action to reduce air pollution?
It is up to us to decide our fate.
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