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These 10 cities in India have the worst air to breathe

A view of skyscrapers engulfed in dense smog amid rising air pollution levels, in NoidaPremium
A view of skyscrapers engulfed in dense smog amid rising air pollution levels, in Noida

  • Even though the air quality in Delhi continued to slide for the second consecutive day from the 'upper end of very poor' to the 'very poor' category, still, it is touching an alarming level on Monday morning as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city stood at 326.

Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital Delhi on Monday morning came down and stopped at a 'very poor' category, after continuing to slide from the 'severe' category, which was recorded for three straight days last week, said the forecast system SAFAR.

On Monday morning, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city stood at 326.

Also Read: WHO warns air pollution can cause these fatal diseases, harm fetuses. Check here

According to the data released by the "Air Quality Early Warning System Delhi", the quality of air is to further deteriorate in Delhi in the coming days. "The air quality is likely to deteriorate but remain in the very poor category from November 8 to November 9," it said in a press release, adding that the forecast for the subsequent six days is likely to remain largely in the very poor category.

Also Read: Delhi pollution: Gopal Rai calls meeting on 7 November on reopening primary schools, revoking work-from-home

Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.

The National Capital Region (NCR) continued to witness bad air as Noida, which is part of the national capital region, recorded an AQI of 356, in the 'very poor' category, while Gurugram's AQI stood at 364 and continued to remain in the 'very poor category, as per data released by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) India.

Current Top 10 polluted cities in India

 

CityAQI
New Delhi326
Rajmahal373
Ingraj Bazar352
Saharsa346
Seven Pagodas337
Rohtak334
Begusarai334
Gurugram332
Balurghat332
Ghaziabad330

However on Sunday, in view of the improvement in the overall air quality of the Delhi-NCR in the past few days, a Central government panel revoked the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) stage 4, which means that there is no ban on entry of trucks and non-BS 6 diesel light motor vehicles are allowed. But a ban on non-essential construction activities which come under GRAP-3 now in force would continue. However, experts have cautioned against making a hasty decision regarding curbs that were imposed.

Previously while expressing concern over Delhi's air quality, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that air pollution-related stubble burning cases have witnessed a rise by 160 per cent in Rajasthan and 20 per cent in Punjab this October as compared to October 2021.

According to the Ministry of Earth Science, the Union Minister also raised an alarm as Delhi recorded seven "very poor" air quality days in October this year compared to none in October 2021.

Referring to findings by the India Meteorological Department and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Singh said, "There was 160 per cent and 20 per cent rise in cases of stubble burning in Rajasthan and Punjab respectively in October 2022 compared to October 2021."

He said that the farm fires in Punjab rose from 13,269 to 16,004 from October 2021 to October 2022 recording a rise of 20 per cent, while in Rajasthan, it rose from 124 to 318 from October 2021 to October 2022 recording a rise of 160 per cent.

"This implies that the governments in the two States are not doing enough to check stubble burning and are, on the contrary, increasingly contributing to the deteriorating air quality in Delhi NCR," the Union Minister said.

The Minister, who is also in charge of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Sciences, said that on the other hand, States like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have recorded a progressive decline in the incidents of stubble fire burning.

He also pointed out that Haryana and Uttar Pradesh witnessed a decline in farm fire incidents by 30 per cent and 38 per cent respectively during the same period.

The Union Minister said in the first five days of November, the number of fire counts was much higher in Punjab than Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences has operationalized Air Quality Early Warning System (AQEWS).

The contribution of Stubble fire in the pollution level of PM2.5 is estimated by AQEWS. The contribution is estimated at 9.7 per cent on November 1, 7.4 per cent on November 2, 32 per cent on November 3 and 17.8 per cent on November 4.

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