Silent culprit: Visitors let down as smog envelopes Taj Mahal

  • | Tuesday | 14th November, 2023

AGRA: A day after the Diwali celebrations, a blanket of smoke and haze covered various cities across India. The air quality in many turned poor on Monday morning. Agra was not an exception. Post-Diwali celebrations have left pollution hanging in the air as smoky smog. The Taj Mahal could hardly be seen as a thick blanket of smog engulfed it. The same was the case with Uttar Pradeshs capital city Lucknow.As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality in LucknowsLalbagh was recorded at 292, it was recorded at 248 near Kendriya Vidyalaya and 219 at the Talkatora district industries centre, all in the poor quality.Firecrackers are made from harmful chemical compounds like sulphur, cadmium, mercury, and lead, which release toxic fumes upon burning. The fumes can cause dense smog, making it difficult to breathe. Although there was a decline in air pollution due to rains thatoccurred the day before Diwali, the level of air pollution has increased yet again post-Diwali celebrations. The air quality in Kanpur also remained poor with the smoke, fog, and smoke on Monday morning after the festivities last night. Despite a blanket ban on fireworks owing to runaway pollution and worsening air quality, revellers across the country engaged in bursting firecrackers on Diwali night. Air pollution levels can be high during the winter months for a number of reasons, including dust and vehicular pollution, dry-cold weather, stubble burning, burning crop residues after the harvest season and commuting. Cold air is denser and moves slower than warm air, so it traps pollution and doesnt whisk it away. This means that air pollution in winter remains in place for much longer than during the summer.We also published the following articles recentlyThick smog engulfs Delhi after Diwali celebration; air quality remains in poor categoryThe national capital of India, New Delhi, woke up to a thick layer of smog on Monday after Diwali celebrations involving firecrackers. The already poor air quality worsened, with the air quality index (AQI) recorded as poor quality. Despite a ban on fireworks, people throughout the city still indulged in bursting firecrackers. The environment minister had previously urged against this due to the already alarming levels of air pollution in the city.Nip in air, pollution affect capital air qualityBhubaneswar, known for its clean air, is experiencing a decline in air quality. The citys air quality index (AQI) has been oscillating between moderate to poor for the past week and was recorded as poor on Wednesday. Environmentalists attribute the decline to cooler temperatures, increased vehicular pollution, deforestation, and construction activities. With Diwali approaching, experts are concerned that the AQI may worsen. The highest recorded AQI was 183 on October 31, exceeding permissible limits. Other cities in the region also have high AQI levels. Experts urge vigilance and measures to reduce emissions.Delhi pollution today: Air quality reaches severe levels againAir quality in Delhi and its suburbs has reached the severe category once again due to the burning of paddy straw after harvest in nearby states. The concentration of PM2.5 has exceeded both government-prescribed safe limits and World Health Organization limits. Neighboring cities are also experiencing hazardous air quality. The Delhi government has announced the return of the odd-even scheme and the suspension of in-person classes in schools. Doctors have compared breathing in Delhis polluted air to smoking 10 cigarettes a day. Air pollution in Delhi is shortening lives by almost 12 years.

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