Day after Diwali, air quality back to ‘very poor’ in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad
Officials and environmental experts blamed the indiscriminate bursting of firecrackers for the deteriorating air quality in all three cities, even though rain over Thursday and Friday had washed away the pollutants, allowing residents a brief respite from the bad air
The respite from smog and high pollution was short-lived for cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) as the air quality in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad was back to “very poor” on the air quality index scale on Monday, the day after Diwali.
Officials and environmental experts blamed the indiscriminate bursting of firecrackers for the deteriorating air quality in all three cities, even though rain over Thursday and Friday had washed away the pollutants, allowing residents a brief respite from the bad air.
According to data compiled by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI of Noida on Monday was 363 (very poor, with PM2.5 as the main pollutant), Greater Noida was 342 (PM2.5 and PM10 main pollutants) and Ghaziabad was 329 (PM2.5 main pollutant).
The levels are a deterioration when compared to the readings of 2022, a day after Diwali, when Noida had an AQI of 299, Greater Noida 272 and Ghaziabad 266, all in “poor" category.
However, prior to 2022, the readings on the day after Diwali in the three years of 2021, 2020 and 2019, were much worse, shows CPCB data. In 2021, the AQI of Noida 475, Greater Noida 464 and Ghaziabad 470, all in the ”severe” category of the AQI scale.
According to the AQI scale, readings between 0 and 50 are considered “good”, 51 and 100 are “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 are “moderate”, 201 and 300 are “poor”, 301 and 400 are “very poor”, and 401 and 500 are “severe”.
Officials of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said the AQI climbed in the three cities post Diwali, due to unabated bursting of firecrackers despite a blanket ban in force.
Regional officer, UPPCB Noida, Utsav Sharma said, “The AQI in Noida had shifted from ”hazardous” zone to “moderate” owing to a change in whether conditions. However, the smog, which is a result of the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali, once again engulfed the city on Monday, leading to significant climb in the AQI. Peak pollution levels were recorded between 12am and 3am on Diwali.”
Similarly, Ghaziabad’s air quality too deteriorated after Diwali, with the AQI climbing to its highest mark in Loni at 313 (very poor) on Monday, as against 205 (poor) on Sunday, followed by Sanjay Nagar at 303 (very poor) as against 176 (moderate) the previous day.
Environment activist Vikrant Tongad said, “The deterioration in air quality is clearly a result of fireworks across the cities on Diwali. There was a brief respite from pollution in the region owing to the rain last week. But the impact of rainfall lasted just 24-48 hours. The pollution is back owing to the unabated bursting of firecrackers.”
Notably, the AQI in the three cities was hovering between ”poor” and ”moderate” categories after the scattered rainfall in Delhi-NCR last week.
On November 12 (Sunday), the AQI in Noida was 189, Greater Noida 165 and Ghaziabad at 186, all in the “moderate” zone. On November 11 (Saturday), the AQI in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad were 156, 130 and 160 respectively. On November 10, the AQI in Noida was 247, Greater Noida 272 and Ghaziabad’s 267, all in the “poor” category, accord to the CPCB.
UPPCB Greater Noida regional officer DK Gupta said, “In Greater Noida, AQI levels have deteriorated and PM2.5 has emerged as the main pollutant, which is prominently due to fireworks, stubble burning, etc,” he said, adding that PM10 rises mainly due to dust, and construction/demolition work.
Environment experts are of the view that the air pollution will further rise as the temperature dips in the days to come. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), both minimum and maximum temperatures in Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad are expected to hover around 14 degrees Celsius and 28 degrees Celsius with a possibility of fog/mist in the morning hours till November 19.
The minimum temperature in Gautam Budh Nagar was recorded at 13.1 degrees Celsius and maximum temperature at 27.0 degrees Celsius, on Monday.
Ghaziabad’s minimum and maximum temperature stood at 15.4 and 26 degrees Celsius, respectively, on Monday, the IMD showed.