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Dusty weather hits life in city

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, March 17 � A severe dust storm hit the city and nearby areas today, making life miserable for the citizens. Today being Sunday was the only respite for the people, as offices, schools and some business establishments remained closed.

Windy conditions that started in the morning hours continued throughout the day and well into the night. Matters stood aggravated by the scanty rainfall in the city for the last few months, resulting in a very dry atmosphere.

The city remained under a shroud of dust, with the windy conditions adding to the people�s woes. The worst-hit were the pedestrians who had to brave the dusty wind to pursue their daily engagements. Most people on the streets and those on two-wheelers were seen covering their faces with clothes to protect themselves from dust.

The dusty conditions caused low visibility during the entire day, and it deteriorated further after dusk. People driving vehicles had a tough time in negotiating through the poor visibility. The dust, together with vehicular emissions, formed a toxic haze that hung over the atmosphere for a long period.

Dusty conditions during late March to mid-April, though, are not an unusual phenomenon. It is the absence of rains that has made things more difficult for the residents of the city.

Monitoring of the city�s ambient air quality by the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) has revealed that both respirable particulate matter (RPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the air records a high trend � often crossing the permissible limits � during this time of the year, and again during the lean winters.

The permissible limits for SPM and RPM are 200 micrograms per metre cubic and 100 micrograms per metre cubic respectively.

Degradation of the city hills leading to accumulation of loose soil on the roads following rain, the boom in construction activities and the failure to maintain the norms aimed at checking dust pollution, and growing vehicular movement and emission, have combined to worsen the dust pollution in Guwahati.

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Dusty weather hits life in city

GUWAHATI, March 17 � A severe dust storm hit the city and nearby areas today, making life miserable for the citizens. Today being Sunday was the only respite for the people, as offices, schools and some business establishments remained closed.

Windy conditions that started in the morning hours continued throughout the day and well into the night. Matters stood aggravated by the scanty rainfall in the city for the last few months, resulting in a very dry atmosphere.

The city remained under a shroud of dust, with the windy conditions adding to the people�s woes. The worst-hit were the pedestrians who had to brave the dusty wind to pursue their daily engagements. Most people on the streets and those on two-wheelers were seen covering their faces with clothes to protect themselves from dust.

The dusty conditions caused low visibility during the entire day, and it deteriorated further after dusk. People driving vehicles had a tough time in negotiating through the poor visibility. The dust, together with vehicular emissions, formed a toxic haze that hung over the atmosphere for a long period.

Dusty conditions during late March to mid-April, though, are not an unusual phenomenon. It is the absence of rains that has made things more difficult for the residents of the city.

Monitoring of the city�s ambient air quality by the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) has revealed that both respirable particulate matter (RPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the air records a high trend � often crossing the permissible limits � during this time of the year, and again during the lean winters.

The permissible limits for SPM and RPM are 200 micrograms per metre cubic and 100 micrograms per metre cubic respectively.

Degradation of the city hills leading to accumulation of loose soil on the roads following rain, the boom in construction activities and the failure to maintain the norms aimed at checking dust pollution, and growing vehicular movement and emission, have combined to worsen the dust pollution in Guwahati.

More in Entertainment
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