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Air pollution rises to alarming level in Guwahati, several flights diverted


Guwahati, Feb 9 (IANS) Air pollution in Guwahati has increased to an alarming level, forcing many city-bound flights to be diverted due to low visibility arising from a thick cloud of dust.

A senior Airport Authority of India (AAI) official said on Thursday that two SpiceJet flights and one of Air Asia had to land in Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash International Airport instead of Guwahati.

Akasa Air and Flybig airlines also diverted their flights to other places.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city stood at 293 under the “poor” category.

Sharad Gokhale, a professor at IIT Guwahati, said: “The PM 10 level suddenly shot up to 1,000 yesterday (Wednesday) from a daily average of 270-280. The PM 2.5 level also rose to 200.”

According to Gokhale, the dusty wind and thick fog were responsible for this unforeseen rise.

“A lot of construction work has been going on in the city. The wind speed was also high, along with dense fog. All of these factors accounted for the rise in air pollution levels here,” he said.

Meanwhile, teams of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) have been inspecting several construction sites.

A GMC source said that authorities were planning to ban construction work in the city for a few days to combat the escalated air pollution.



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