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Air in UP cities turns very poor with AQI spiking in 24 hours

The air quality drop has been caused by a spike in activity due to the festive season, experts said.
The air quality falling signals towards setting winters where the environment gets dense limiting pollutants to disperse. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Oct 17, 2021 12:56 AM IST
ByHT Correspondent, Lucknow

Air pollution spiked across Uttar Pradesh with cities reporting very poor air qualities as per Air Quality Index (AQI) data of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), on Saturday. The drop in air quality has been caused by a spike in activity due to the festive season and drop in average day temperatures as winter sets in, experts suggest.

According to the data, the AQI in Agra turned to 274 from 214 within 24 hours, in Baghpat district of West UP the AQI turned to 307 from 176, in Bulandshahr, it went from 202 to 299. Ghaziabad in the NCR region recorded AQI of 349 from 235 within 24 hours. The higher the AQI value the more polluted the air. An AQI above 200 is considered poor while that above 300 is categorised as very poor by the CPCB. Very poor air can have a very severe adverse impact on health if exposed to it for long.

Particulate matter 2.5 and 10 formed the major air pollutants in most UP cities that can be caused by increase in human activity that occurs during festivities. Burning of effigies also impacts the air quality but the impact is local, according to experts.

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The depleting air quality signals towards setting winters where the environment gets dense limiting pollutants to disperse. This results in higher AQI. The average day temperature according to the Indian Meteorological Department has dropped by 2.1 degrees Celsius in a week.

“A large AQI value in a region shows that people in that area are breathing in more polluted air. Besides harmful gases, particulate pollution forms a major chunk of polluted air which has long-lasting, adverse impacts on health,” said environmentalist Sukant Sinha.

The state of air quality has alerted government officials. “We are closely monitoring the AQI numbers of UP cities. Several measures including fines on polluting industries have been taken to reduce pollution. We have also set in place several strict measures to curb air pollution in the coming days,” said Ajay Kumar Sharma, member secretary of the UP Pollution Control Board

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