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Chandigarh: 11 flights cancelled due to poor visibility; Haryana issues advisory

By Deepika

Low visibility due to dusty weather conditions led to cancellations of eleven flights to and from the Chandigarh International Airport on Friday.

image for representation only

A blanket of dust haze covered Punjab and Haryana for the third day today, disrupting flight operations at the airport here.

In view of the prevailing weather condition, some flight operators had on Thursday itself announced cancellation of flights scheduled for the day, airport officials said.

Over 30 flights were cancelled here as visibility levels dropped considerably due to the dust haze on Thursday. The weather condition is likely to emprove by this evening.

The weather department here said a ground-level dust storm in Rajasthan, with wind speeds up to 40 kmph, had led to a spike in the levels of coarse particles in the air in most parts of Haryana and Punjab, including Chandigarh, since Wednesday.

Director of Chandigarh's MeT Department Surinder Paul told PTI that a western disturbance approaching the region was likely to clear the air.

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) today issued advisory that no construction activities should be carried out for the next two days in districts falling under National Capital Region (NCR).

It also advised that no hot mix plants and stone crushers be operated for the next two days in the districts.

"Delhi and NCR areas and other parts of Haryana have been experiencing a very severe air pollution due to dust storm with PM 2.5 level crossing even 500g/m3 and considerably higher PM 10 values.

"These dust storms have been attributed to storm and the winds coming from the regions of Rajasthan and beyond. Meteorological Department has informed that similar conditions will continue to prevail for next few days," the advisory stated.

Taking cognizance of these facts, the Pollution Control Board on Thursday issued an advisory to all deputy commissioners and municipal commissioners of NCR districts in Haryana to ensure frequent sprinkling of water to help settle the dust, to keep strict vigil on the garbage burning activities through deployment of special teams, increasing frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads and identifying road stretches with the high dust generation for addressing the issues.

The board has also requested the Haryana health department to issue an advisory to the public on precautions to be taken during dusty weather conditions.

Haryana's environment minister Vipul Goel said the HSPCB was monitoring the pollution level and would advise further necessary steps in consultation with the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority and the Central Pollution Control Board.

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