According to the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday, Bihar is home to seven of the ten cities with the highest air quality index value.
While Delhi struggles to combat rising levels of air pollution like every year, another state from India’s heartland has emerged, claiming to have the country’s most polluted cities. On Monday, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) published a list of 162 Indian cities, along with their air quality index and values. The data provides the average air quality over the previous 24 hours as well as the primary pollutant in each city. As per this data, seven of the ten most polluted cities in India are in Bihar, with Siwan leading the list with an AQI of 398.
List of the cities that recorded the highest AQI
- Siwan- 398
- Darbhanga- 360
- Sonipat (Haryana)-347
- Samastipur- 337
- Chhapra- 335
- Faridabad (Haryana)- 316
- Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)-315
- Bhagalpur -308
Reasons for poor AQI in Bihar
An area’s AQI is determined by monitoring the amounts of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10), ozone, SO2, NO2, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and lead. In the case of Bihar, PM 2.5 is the most significant contributor to the increased level of air pollution. The officials attributed the deteriorating air quality in the state to the gradual onset of winter along with geographical factors such as the alluvial soil because Patna is located on the banks of river Ganga.
The BSPCB chairman Ashok Ghosh claimed that a drop in temperature and a meteorological inversion were to blame for the worsening of the air quality. “Due to a drop in temperature and a decrease in wind speed, the air quality has deteriorated. A thermal inversion occurs during the fall-to-winter transition, causing suspended pollutants to rise with the warmer air. In addition to this, the state’s geographic location is also to blame for the bad air, according to him.
Pollutants are not free to leave and disperse in the thick cold air in the winter because it is denser and moves slower than warmer air. As a result, the cold air traps the pollutants. This is the reason why air pollution worsens during the winter. Other factors such as automobile emissions, industry, road dust, burning of waste, and stubble burning also contributed to poor air quality.
AQI of Delhi
At a time when Delhi is dealing with rising levels of air pollution, another state from India’s heartland has emerged, claiming to have the country’s most polluted cities. For years, Delhi residents have been suffering beneath a veil of smog. With a pinch of relief, for the time being, Delhi recorded a marginal improvement in its score, shifting from extremely poor to poor, with an AQI of 294.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has issued a notice to competent authorities for failure to reduce air pollution levels in the state capital’s forest and industrial sectors.
In order to reach a conclusion, the data, which is an average of the air quality recorded over the previous 24 hours and also lists the major pollutants in each city, considered 162 Indian cities.
This comes a week after the Central Pollution Control Board released statistics showing that on November 7, Katihar in had the highest AQI (Air Quality Index) of 360 among 163 Indian cities.
In addition to Katihar, three other cities like Begusarai (AQI-355), Motihari (AQI-324), and Siwan, all continued to be among the 15 worst cities in India (AQI-318). On Saturday night, many locations in Haryana and Punjab scored “moderate” and “bad” air quality ratings. On the other hand, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) issued a notice to concerned authorities for failing to reduce air pollution levels in the state capital’s forest and industrial sectors.
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