6 Cities/Towns In Odisha Among Most-Polluted In Country With AQI Of More Than 300

Bhubaneswar: The overall air quality in multiple cities and towns of Odisha has deteriorated to ‘very poor’ category, reaching levels of above 300, in the past few days.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Monday bulletin, six places from the state were among 16 across India to record very poor Air Quality Index (AQI) with Angul at 352 surpassing Delhi’s 345. The industrial town was third most-polluted place in the country. Cuttack was the second most-polluted town with AQI of 340 while both Bhubaneswar and Balasore had an AQI of 334 with Keonjhar at 326.

Talcher and Rairangpur, hometown of President Droupadi Murmu, recorded AQI of 304 and 300, respectively.

At 8.30 am on Tuesday

Angul – 361 (Very Poor)

Balasore – 339

Bhubaneswar – 339

Cuttack – 336

Baripada – 305

An AQI value of 50 or below represents good air quality while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality. Prolonged exposure to “very poor” AQI is likely to cause respiratory illness, as per the CPCB.

Vehicular emission, road dust, industrial pollution, pollution from construction, and demolition work are primary reasons for pollutions in the state and experts have attributed this deteriorating trend to slow wind speed, fog and moisture from the coast that do not allow pollutants to disburse.  “The air pollution level which usually remains ‘satisfactory’ plunged to ‘polluted’ due to winter. The spike in AQI is mostly due to dust pollution emanating from road and building construction. Lack of dispersion of pollutants due to temperature inversion is also another reason. We expect the AQI to improve in next few days,” K Murugesan, member secretary of Odisha State Pollution Control Board, was quoted as saying by HT.

A day after Diwali festivities last year, Begusarai in Bihar and Bhubaneswar in Odisha recorded the worst AQI in the country, at 401 and 382, respectively. Of the 10 cities with the worst air quality as of 1 pm, four were in Odisha, three in Bihar, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

Notably, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Balasore, Angul, Talcher and Kalinganagar are identified as non-attainment cities in the state and clean air action plan has been devised at these places as per National Clean Air Programme (Ncap).


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