As the Patiala has been figured out in the world’s most polluted cities by World Health Organisation (WHO), the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Wednesday challenged the WHO report on Ambient Air Quality of the state declaring it a non rational, unscientific and without any reasonable facts placing Patiala at eleventh spot in the list of first fifteen cities with worst air quality.
Disclosing this, PPCB Chairman KS Pannu said, Patiala was placed in this list on the basis of PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter) data which was never monitored by the PPCB or any other government agency in any of the cities of Punjab during the study period of the report from the year 2010 to 2016.
He said that under Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) sponsored National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme, Board had established 24 stations in 11 cities of Punjab which are measuring PM10, Sulphur Dioxide and Oxides of Nitrogen and the data is shared nationally on the website of the CPCB.
“We are surprised to see how the WHO has interpreted the PM10 data to PM2.5 without any scientific study in the state. The facts of the report released by WHO have astonished everybody including the scientific community”, said Pannu. He further said that before the data being interpreted and used for such a report, the WHO has never consulted nor shared any information in this regard with the PPCB.
Pannu said that with the financial assistance from CPCB, the PPCB has established the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations in Ludhiana, Amritsar, Mandi Gobindgarh, Jalandhar, Patiala and Khanna between the years 2016 to 2018 and these stations are monitoring PM2.5 on regular basis and the real-time data is put in the public domain regularly. But the average data of PM2.5 of the cities never touched the 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
Pannu further said that the average PM2.5 data of these stations was never near micrograms per cubic meter even and the WHO report has created panic in the residents of Punjab in general and Patiala in particular without any scientific basis.
“The Board has challenge this report and take up the matter with WHO based on the scientific facts and figures,” he said.