Noida the second most polluted city in the countryUpdated: Nov 15, 2019 21:52 IST
Noida: The air quality of Noida continued to remain ‘severe’ on Friday, for the fourth day in a row, owing to the meteorological conditions and local emissions.
It was the second most polluted city in the country on Friday — a day before that, it had worst air in the entire country, a dubious honour it had shared with neighbouring Ghaziabad.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) of Noida on Friday, on a scale of 0 to 500, was 469 against 486 a day earlier, both in ‘severe’ category.
The AQI of Greater Noida was 442 on Friday against 467 a day earlier, both in ‘severe’ category.
While the pollution monitoring agencies forecasting an improvement in air quality soon, the air quality is still most likely to hover around in the lower levels of ‘severe’ (between 400-500) or the upper range of ‘very-poor’ (between 300-400) of the AQI towards Saturday.
Schools, which had remained shut on Thursday and Friday owing to severe pollution, will open on Saturday, while the ban on operations of hot mix plants, stone crushers and industries ends on Friday. The CPCB task force did not meet to review of the situation on Friday, officials said.
“The restrictions were till Wednesday only and we have not received any further orders. However, the task force is likely to meet Saturday to take a call on whether restrictions should be lifted or extended,” Anil Kumar Singh, regional officer, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), said.
However, with the entire region reeling under ‘emergency’ levels of pollution, as per the Supreme Court appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (Epca), experts say restrictions are in force by default, as per the measures under graded response action plan (Grap).
“The air quality is already in the emergency level — this happens when the PM2.5 level is over 300 μg/m3 for at least 48 hours. As of 6pm Friday, the PM2.5 level has been over the emergency limit for more than 79 hours. So going by Grap, the restrictions on industries, hot mix plants, DG sets, etc. must continue,” Shambahvi Shukla, programme officer, clean air, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said.
The PM2.5, or particles with diameter less than 2.5microns, on Friday was also high at an average of 395.52μg/m3, which is six times the national limit of 60μg/m3 and 15 times the international standards set by World Health Organisation (WHO) of 25μg/m3.
According to the weather analysts, the air quality is likely to improve over the next two days as the wind speed is likely to increase from the current 6 to 10kmph, to around 10 to 15kmph on Saturday and 20 to 25kmph on Sunday.
“There is a western disturbance active and whenever that happens, the wind speed drops. The western disturbance is likely to move on by Saturday and then the speed of the north-westerly wind will start picking up, thereby cleaning the air of pollutants by Sunday (November 17),” Mahesh Palawat, director private weather forecasting agency, Skymet, said.
The air quality of Noida showed some improvement on November 5 after being in the ‘severe’ category since October 28. However, after fluctuating within the ‘very poor’ category since October 28, the air quality of Noida and adjoining regions slipped again to the ‘severe’ category from November 12 onwards.