“The particular annual mean is about three times the Indian standards and 12 times the WHO standards of 10 micrograms per cubic metres,” he said, adding that the lackadaisical approach adopted by the civic body and the Transport Department was to be blamed for higher pollution levels.“Unclean roads are the major factor contributing to rising levels of air pollution. There is no regular sweeping of roads in the city, which adds to the problem. The pollution level will immediately decline if all roads in the city are cleaned regularly. Secondly, more than 50,000 diesel auto rickshaws are plying in the city on a daily basis, which is alarming.
Unfortunately, till date there has been no consensus on the issue in the Transport Department,” said the official.Another official posted at the PPCB’s Patiala office that deals with air pollution said sulphur dioxide was well within the limits. The nitrogen oxide particles too were within the limits, but a PM of 10 was the major concern. It was caused due to dust at the roadsides and vehicular pollution, he added.An MC official said even during a survey regarding the “smart” city few months ago, a majority of residents had expressed their concern over the rising pollution. “For making Ludhiana a ‘smart’ city, we need to make smart efforts, which is possible only with the strict implementation of laws,” he said.