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Ghaziabad worst polluted in country, AQI likely to worsen

Noida: The air quality of the region has deteriorated in the past 24 hours with Ghaziabad turning out to be the worst polluted city of the country on Wednesday, while Greater Noida was the third worst
By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:31 PM IST

Noida: The air quality of the region has deteriorated in the past 24 hours with Ghaziabad turning out to be the worst polluted city of the country on Wednesday, while Greater Noida was the third worst. Noida remained in the ‘poor’ category, although its air quality index (AQI) levels oscillated towards the wrong end.

Meanwhile, the mercury soared in the region with Delhi’s Safdarjung observatory – also the average for the national Capital – seeing its warmest February day since 2006, the Met officials said. The Safdarjung observatory recorded a maximum temperature of 32.5 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, seven degrees higher than the season’s average, while the minimum was recorded at 12 °C, a degree above the average.

“Delhi saw the highest maximum temperature for February since 2006. Due to clear sun, and variable and slow winds, the mercury may soar by up to two degrees over the next few days,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre, India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The maximum and minimum temperatures for Noida were recorded at 32 degrees °C and 13.7 degrees °C, against 31.6 degrees °C and 12.6 degrees °C a day before, respectively.

According to pollution monitoring agencies, the region saw a drop in wind speed, which led to the worsening of air quality that the agencies predict, will worsen further on Thursday.

“The wind speed on Wednesday dropped to an average of eight kilometres per hour (kmph) against 12 kmph a day earlier. Also, the wind speed is only picking up during the day hours, so the ventilation conditions of the city are not very good. This is one of the major reasons why the air quality deteriorated. The wind speed will remain low on Thursday as well, but will increase towards Friday which will help disperse pollutant particles and improve the air quality,” said Srivastava.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) of Noida on Wednesday, on a scale of 0 to 500, deteriorated to 292 against 214 a day earlier. Noida’s air quality had improved to “poor” category on February 2.

The AQI of Greater Noida on Wednesday deteriorated to 353 from 342 a day earlier. The air quality index of Ghaziabad was 388 against 320 a day earlier.

An AQI up to 100 is considered ‘good’, between 101 and 200 is considered ‘moderate’, between 201 and 300 is ‘poor’, between 301 and 400 is considered ‘very poor’ and above 400 is considered ‘severe’.

According to the System of air quality and weather forecasting and research (SAFAR), the air quality is likely to deteriorate on Thursday.

“Surface winds are low and forecasted to improve during the day. The AQI is likely to marginally deteriorate Thursday and likely to stay at the ‘poor’ to the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category. An increase in wind speed and boundary layer height is forecasted from February 26. This is likely to influence the AQI positively and ‘poor’ AQI is forecasted for February 26 and 27,” said the SAFAR statement on Wednesday.

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