Ultrafine particles that began to skyrocket after Diwali night (Thursday) caused an increase in the Air Quality Index (AQI) in most cities across the state. AQI broke the alarming 400 mark in a dozen districts on Friday due to fireworks, vehicle emissions and favorable weather conditions. A similar trend continued on Saturday.
In Lucknow the situation was comparatively better, but the air was still in the poor category (AQI: 201-300). According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the city’s AQI on Thursday was 242, which rose to 278 as air quality deteriorated on Friday before dropping to 260 on Saturday.
Moderate winds kept air pollution levels lower this year in Diwali compared to 2019 and 2020, but the concentration of PM2.5 in six locations in the city remained above the allowable limits of 60 micrograms set by the national ambient air quality standard.
The mean concentration of PM2.5 was highest in Talkatora at 208 micrograms per cubic air, followed by Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (172), Kukrail picnic spot (132.7), Lalbagh ( 128.6), Gomtinagar (109.8) and the central school, Aliganj (100). Environmentalist Professor Venkatesh Dutta said: “The fireworks during Diwali and the traffic rumbling due to the rush of the holidays have had a negative impact on the clean air. People should take pollution control measures.
11 of the most polluted cities in the UP: The situation in the center and west of the UP was worse with severe air quality (AQI above 400). In fact, Ghaziabad with AQI (466) and Noida (461) were the two most polluted places in the country, followed by two cities of Haryana – Gurugram (456) and Faridabad (449). UP’s Baghpat (445), Hapur (445), Meerut (438) and Bulandshahr (433) were also in the top 10. Overall, 11 UP cities (60%) were among the top 16 locations. polluted in India. Gorakhpur (386), Agra (390) and Muzaffarnagar (328) recorded “very poor” air quality.