Greater Noida most polluted city; Noida, Ghaziabad air in ‘severe’ zone again

  • | Monday | 28th December, 2020

Noida: Air quality in Noida deteriorated to the ‘severe’ level on Sunday, with an air quality index (AQI) reading of 405, two days after the region recorded an improvement.

Noida: Air quality in Noida deteriorated to the ‘severe’ level on Sunday, with an air quality index (AQI) reading of 405, two days after the region recorded an improvement.

With Greater Noida the most polluted city of the country, the three NCR cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Ghaziabad and Noida, were among the five most polluted cities on Sunday, as per the AQI bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). According to the CPCB data, the AQI of Noida Dropped to 405 from a reading of 344 (very poor) recorded a day earlier. Greater Noida recorded an AQI of 418, which was 355 (very poor) a day prior. The AQI of Ghaziabad was 407— the third most polluted city on Sunday — as it dipped from 367 a day prior.

An AQI between 101 to 200 is considered moderate, between 201 and 300 is poor, between 301 and 400 is very-poor, between 401 and 500 is severe, and readings above 500 severe plus. The CPCB listed ultrafine particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5), which mix in the bloodstream though breathing, as the main pollutant on Sunday in the three cities. The P2.5 levels in Noida was 279.01 microgrammes per cubic metres (ug/m3) for Sunday, against 197.99 units a day earlier. The PM2.5 for Greater Noida was 294.84 ug/m3 against 212.27 ug/m3 a day earlier. The PM2.5 level for Ghaziabad on Sunday was 279.17 ug/m3 against 226.81 ug/m3 a day earlier. The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 ug/m3. The pollution monitoring agencies pointed to low wind speeds as the reason for the spike in pollution levels. The pollutants in the city’s air were locally generated, and not due to the external sources like stubble burning, said experts.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), due to a western disturbance in the Indian Himalayan region, which leads to snowfall in the northern states, wind direction changed and subsequently, wind speeds dropped. “Whenever the wind directions change, the pollution levels spike because the dispersion stops. The wind directions change from north-westerly to south-easterly on Sunday and the speed was around 8 kmph. On Monday, the speed may be around 10 kmph but the pollution levels may be high,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre, IMD.

According to the System of air quality and weather forecasting and research (Safar), higher ventilation is expected on Monday. “The surface winds are likely to pick up and AQI is likely to improve to the middle-end of very poor on December 28 and 29. AQI is likely to deteriorate thereafter towards the high-end of very poor by December 30. Low ventilation condition is likely to extend thereafter and it may affect AQI on New Year’s Eve,” read a statement issued by Safar on Sunday.

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