Monday, September 27, 2021


Chandigarh gets its own pollen calendar

September 06, 2021 10:19 PM

NEW DELHI: Chandigarh now has its first pollen calendar, which can identify potential allergy triggers and provide a clear understanding for clinicians as well as allergy sufferers about their causes to help limit their exposure during high pollen loads.

About 20-30 per cent of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis/hay fever in India, and approximately 15 per cent develop asthma. Pollens are considered major outdoor airborne allergens responsible for allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis in humans.

"Pollen calendars represent the time dynamics of airborne pollen taxa in graphical form in a particular geographical area. They yield readily accessible visual details about various airborne pollen taxa present throughout the year, with their seasonality in a single picture. Pollen calendars are location-specific, with concentrations closely related to locally distributed flora, " a Science and Technology Ministry release said.

People can have access to the Pollen Calendar of Chandigarh through the website:

The Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, examined the seasonal periodicities of airborne pollen spectrum to develop the 'Pollen Calendar'.

Led by Dr Ravindra Khaiwal of the Department, the team also included Professor, and Head of PGIMER's Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Dr Ashutosh Aggarwal, and Panjab University, Chandigarh, Department of Environment Studies, Chairperson and Associate Professor Dr Suman Mor, along with researchers Akshi Goyal and Sahil Kumar.

The group explored the main pollen seasons, their intensities, variations, and aerobiologically significant pollen types in Chandigarh.

The prominent airborne pollen dominating seasons were spring and autumn, with maximum species surfacing when the phenological and meteorological parameters are considered favourable.

The calendar will help prepare early advisories and disseminate them through media channels to the citizens so that they can use protective gear during the period when the concentration of allergic pollens will be high. It is also a preventive tool for sensitive people to diminish exposure when the levels of aero-pollen are high during specific periods.

The study, supported by the Department of Science and Technology, was recently published in journal Atmospheric Environment.

Khaiwal said that Chandigarh had reported a remarkable increase in forest cover in recent years, and rise in green spaces would also increase airborne pollen, consequently increasing pollen-related allergic ailments.

Mor said: "In this scenario, the study aims to bring airborne pollen seasonal information to the susceptible population, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and scientists to be familiar with the current changes in the environment, which can further help develop mitigation strategies."

"The findings of this study would enhance the understanding of airborne pollen seasons, which may further help to minimise pollen allergies, " Dr Aggarwal pointed out.

Captain Amarinder further went on to rebut Cheema’s claims on the kidnapping for ransom cases in various districts, pointing out that as against the LoP’s claim of 1032 such cases, only 3 were actually reported in Ludhiana, with all cases solved. Similarly, in Amritsar Commissionerate and district, only 2 cases were of ‘kidnapping for ransom’ were reported, while in Jalandhar district, there was actually not a single case of `kidnapping for ransom’, as against the 619 claimed by the LoP, he added.

Closer home, in district Mohali, out of the 576 FIRs registered under various kidnapping/abduction sections, only 2 involved kidnapping for ransom. Both these cases were traced and challans put in court. The balance pertained to elopement of minor girls, disclosed the Chief Minister. As for Patiala district, only 2 of the 470 kidnapping cases registered were related to ransom, he added.

The law and order situation in Punjab is currently among the best in the country, said Captain Amarinder, trashing Cheema’s claims to the contrary. In fact, he pointed out, as per the India Today - State of States Report, 2020, Punjab was ranked as the number 1 state in the country for best performance in Law & Order. The ranking of Punjab's Law & Order has improved Year on Year from rank 5 (2018) to rank 2 (2019) to rank 1 (2020), since his government took over, added the Chief Minister.

On the LoP’s allegation of nexus between the ruling party leaders, administrative and police officials with criminals in Punjab, Captain Amarinder said such collusions only take place in AAP, whose national convenor Arvind Kejriwal was seen openly hobnobbing with people of militant and criminal background during the run-up to the 2017 Assembly elections.

Thanks to the free hand they have, the Punjab Police, under DGP Dinkar Gupta, has successfully restored the peace of the state, where people today feel safe and secure, with gangsters, terrorists, drug dealers etc either neutralized or forced to flee, said the Chief Minister. From solving the cases of targeted killings to cracking down on Pak-backed forces trying to revive militancy and disturbing the communal harmony of the state, the police department has achieved remarkable success, he pointed out.

Captain Amarinder further nailed Cheema’s lies on industrial development, pointing out that the last 4+ years had witnessed the realization of Rs 91, 000 crore investment on ground. AAP’s frustrated attempts to undermine these achievements through lies and fabrications will not only fail but will once again backfire on them as had happened in 2017, he warned the LoP.

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