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Noida’s air quality slips to severe again

By HT Correspondent, Noida
PUBLISHED ON NOV 25, 2020 11:14 PM IST

After oscillating between ‘moderate’ and ‘very poor’ in the last week, the air quality of Noida slipped to ‘severe’ category again on Wednesday, as calmer winds and local emissions led to sharp rise in pollutants, with no scope for ventilation.

While neighbouring Ghaziabad has been reeling under ‘severe’ air quality in the past 48 hours, the air in Greater Noida has been in the ‘very poor’ category, threatening to slip into ‘severe’.

Monitoring agencies expect pollution levels to drop slightly from Thursday onwards.However, higher humidity levels and low temperatures will make dispersion of pollutants difficult as heavier air (due to low temperatures) trap pollutants better. Meanwhile, the agencies stated that winds directions are currently easterly, which means that the intrusion of smoke from neighbouring states is minimal.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the wind speed will remain largely calm over next two days, and certain regions may see a slight drizzle.

“The wind direction on Wednesday was easterly and south-easterly directions reached maximum speeds of 8 kmph . Certain parts of NCR received drizzle or traces of rain on Wednesday while some areas are expected to witness some drizzling on Thursday morning. However the low intensity will only give rise to the humidity, due to which even if wind speed increases, the ventilation will be low,’ said Kuldeep Srivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre, IMD.

However, the agencies do believe that the ongoing fire at Ghazipur landfill site – one of the largest landfill site of Delhi on the north-west side of Noida – could be a contributing factor. The Ghazipur landfill site had caught fire around Tuesday, 10 pm, leading to smouldering of the solid waste throughout the day.

“We have not received any update about the possible effect on air quality. However, it is logical and obvious that a huge fire near the district will definitely have some effect on the overall air quality of the region,” said Praveen Kumar, regional officer, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), Noida.

According to the central pollution control board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) of Noida on Wednesday was 414 or ‘severe’ against 396 or ‘very-poor’ a day earlier and 301 on Monday. The AQI of Greater Noida was 394 against 382 a day earlier and 286 on Monday. The AQI of Ghaziabad was 444 against 428 a day earlier, both ‘very-poor’ against 365 on Monday. The AQI between 301 and 400 is considered ‘very-poor’ and above 400 is considered ‘severe’.

The pollution mass remained high for all three cities, with PM2.5 for past 24-hours in Noida recorded at 243.94 microgrammes per cubic against 229.74 microgrammes per cubic metres a day earlier. The PM2.5 for Greater Noida was 250.9 units against 238.16 units a day earlier. The PM2.5 for Ghaziabad was 331.23 against 335.35 a day earlier. The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 units.

According to the System of air quality and weather forecasting and research (SAFAR), the AQI is likely to see slight improvement in coming days.

“Winds are forecasted to pick up and improve the ventilation condition by Thursday. The AQI is forecasted to improve towards the middle-end of the very poor category by tomorrow and likely stay in the lower end of very poor on 27th and 28th November,” said a SAFAR statement on Wednesday.

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