Over a week after Diwali, different parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) witnessed alarming levels of pollutants in the air, according to data displayed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Readings of the Air Quality Index (AQI), which serve as a measure of the amount of pollution in the air, stood above a staggering 400 across various parts of Delhi on Friday, 4 November.
Burari, Punjabi Bagh, Sri Aurobindo Marg, and Anand Vihar recorded an AQI of 462, 378, 439, and 470 respectively.
Air quality in Gurugram, Noida, and Ghaziabad also dwindled between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories in November, as air pollution in the city remained in the red after Diwali.
This puts the air quality in the 'severe' category, which lists the corresponding health impacts as "everyone may experience more serious health issues."
How Did Other Cities Fare?
In other metropolitan cities, the AQI readings on the afternoon of 4 November looked like this:
Delhi (Anand Vihar): 466 (Severe)
Mumbai (Chakala - Andheri East): 209 (Poor)
Bengaluru (Bapuji Nagar): 85 (Satisfactory)
Hyderabad (Kokapet): 44 (Good)
Chennai (Royapuram): 45 (Good)
Kolkata (Ballygunge): 161 (Moderate)
Ahmedabad (Maninagar): 206 (Poor)
Are AQI Readings Reliable?
Yes, for the most part. The main issue is that the AQI recorded by SAFAR’s monitoring stations across India only go as far as 999. This is a problem because in 2019, parts of Delhi, like Anand Vihar, witnessed PM 2.5 concentrations as high as 2400 on the CPCB monitor. AQI readings from across India, not just Delhi, touched PM 2.5 concentration levels of 1600-2000.
However, at the same time, AQI readings from the Ministry of Earth Science's SAFAR monitoring stations only read 999 across the capital.
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