Cities in Uttar Pradesh are experiencing a sharp drop in air quality, caused by a spike in activity due to the festive season and drop in average day temperatures as winter sets in. Ghaziabad continued to be recording the worst air quality.
Asthma and bronchial patients are experiencing an increased discomfort and hospitals across the state are witnessing a surge of patients with respiratory problems.
According to the data on Saturday evening, the AQI in Agra turned to 274 from 214 within 24 hours, in Baghpat district of West Uttar Pradesh the AQI moved 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 Uttar Pradesh 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.
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 India Meteorological Department has dropped by 2.1 degrees Celsius in a week.
Ajay Kumar Sharma, member secretary of the UP Pollution Control Board, said, “We are closely monitoring the AQI numbers of Uttar Pradesh 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.”