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Beyond Delhi-NCR, a look at cities reeling under severe air pollution

While Delhi’s adverse air quality has been rightly ringing screeching alarms all over the country and the world, it would be incorrect to believe that the extreme lung-hazard is a concern of the capital region alone.

Written by Nandini Rathi | New Delhi | Published: November 8, 2017 3:25 pm

air pollution, delhi ncr, CPCB, air quality index

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Wednesday summoned officials from the Pollution departments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi governments to discuss air pollution in Delhi NCR. While Delhi’s adverse air quality has been rightly ringing screeching alarms all over the country and the world, it would be incorrect to believe that the extreme lung-hazard is a concern of the capital region alone.

Without a doubt, the outrightly affected along with Delhi are its surroundings — Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Going slightly further, Ghaziabad (475), Moradabad (500) and Bhiwadi (439) are among the hardest hit due to heightened, hazardous concentrations of PM-10 and PM-2.5, as per the Air Quality Index report released by the CPCB yesterday at 4 PM. All, as indicated by their index values, saw levels of pollution greater than 400 micrograms per cubic centimeter and fell in the “severe” category. Bhiwadi was also recently identified by the CPCB as the most polluted city of Rajasthan post-Diwali.

By comparison, CPCB deems Air Quality Index (AQI) level 100 is satisfactory. Delhi which usually remains in the range of 300-400, last year made international headlines for crossing the threshold of 500 after Diwali.

Also flagged in the report were Howrah (451), Lucknow (365), Kanpur (361) and Agra (355) — all generally notorious for pollution. In Howrah, Ozone was attributed as the chief pollutant this time, unlike other areas where particulate matter dominated. Data on Kolkata was unavailable in this report, yet the twin cities have variously featured in the recently years for levels exceeding PM and NO2 standards by multiples.

While city-wise pollution rankings keep fluctuating, the places regularly red-flagged almost every time have a clear reason to worry.

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  1. G
    Gagan
    Nov 8, 2017 at 11:52 pm
    Pathetic capital of a joke nation Where is the mera Bharat mahan brigade
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    1. Guptan Veemboor
      Nov 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm
      I am not able to understand why stubble burning in neighbouring states should affect the air in Delhi? Is there wind blowing from those states to bring the smoke to Delhi? Even then how it can bring from different directions? The pollution must be self-generated. Power plants and many other industries must be spewing smoke into the atmosphere. So too all those motor cars. Every 'babu' owns a car in Delhi. And the other old 'Rip wan Winkle type trucks doing their best to contribute their share of pollution. Ban all those vehicles older than 15 years or those found spewing smoke even if they are not that old. If the truckers go on strike put every owner in jail and confiscate their trucks. Unless some strong action is taken this will continue.
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      1. Chandan Bhowmick
        Nov 8, 2017 at 7:59 pm
        West Bengal is free from air pollution.AQI of West Bengal is less than 10.Central govt try to discredit state govt .
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        1. F
          FOG
          Nov 8, 2017 at 5:50 pm
          This is typical FOG. Nothing to do w pollution. Pls stop misleading ppl
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          1. Guptan Veemboor
            Nov 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm
            Will not the fog disappear when the sun comes up?
            (2)(0)
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          2. F
            freethinker
            Nov 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm
            CONTROLLING ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION REQUIRES COMMON SENSE STEPS AND GUTS TO IMPLEMENT THEM --- NOT COSMETIC VOTE SAVING STUNTS. INSTEAD OF CLOSING SCHOOLS ONE SHOULD STRICTLY CONTROL THE OPERATING OF MARKETS. THEY SHOULD SHUT BY SEVEN IN THE EVENING WHEN TEMPERATURES DROP AND POLLUTION LEVELS SOAR. OFFICE TIMINGS INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENTS SHOULD BE CHANGED FROM EIGHT TO FOUR IN THE EVENING. YELLOW LINES SHOULD BE DRAWN AT EVERY RED LIGHT CROSSING. VEHICLES STOPPING MORE THAN 30 FEET FROM THE TRAFFIC LIGHT SHOULD BE MADE TO SWITCH OFF THEIR ENGINES LIKE IT IS DONE IN SOME EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. SMOKE EMITTING VEHICLES SHOULD BE CONFISCATED. POLLUTION WILL COME DOWN BY AT LEAST 25 . DO BUREAUCRATS AND POLITICIANS HAVE GUTS TO TRY THESE MEASURES?
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