Rain predicted in parts of Punjab, to bring relief from smog; usher in winter chill

With the weather department predicting rain over the next two days, the smog that has engulfed the region over the past three weeks is likely to dissipate.

Signs of improvement were visible on Monday.

Except Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Mandi Gobindgarh where ambient (natural) air still ranged between poor and very poor, ample sunlight — for at least three to six hours — was see in Mohali, Patiala and Jalandhar on Monday, giving some respite to residents from smog. Sangrur and Bathinda did witness some smog on Monday.

“With winds blowing from the west, the ambient air condition is improving, and smog is dissipating,” said KS Pannu, chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board.

“Things are going to be better in a few days,” said Surender Paul, director, India Meteorological Department, based in Chandigarh.

“The smog will clear as we expect rain over the next 48 hours (till Wednesday evening), build-up of clouds is seen in some parts of the state and there is considerable humidity in ambient air. Rain will bring clean air and acute winter,” Paul added.

Agriculture directorate head JS Bains told HT that paddy had been harvested in the state and now, there would not be any case of stubble burning.

With weather improving, wheat sowing is also expected to begin at a rapid pace. Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) vice-chancellor BS Dhillon had told HT last week that smoggy conditions were delaying wheat-sowing. “The best time to sow wheat is clear weather,” Dhillon had said.

News Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com