Air Quality In 4 Odisha Cities Slips To ‘Poor’ Category; Thick Smog Engulfs Bhubaneswar After Diwali

Bhubaneswar: Even as the air quality in Odisha capital plunged from moderately polluted to poor in a span of five days, thick smog engulfed Bhubaneswar and other places in the state after Diwali celebrations.

Ahead of Diwali, the average daily Air Quality Index (AQI) and PM2.5 and PM10 levels in Bhubaneswar were within the moderate range, but it jumped to 300 at some places on Sunday. The AQI of the city stood at 182 at 6.40 am, 175 at 7.40 am and 168 at 12.50 pm on Monday. The current PM2.5 concentration in Bhubaneshwar is 6 times above the recommended limit given by the WHO 24 hrs air quality guidelines value, sources said.

Despite restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court on the use of firecrackers and the guidelines issued by the police on green crackers, all efforts to curb pollution appear to have failed to work during Diwali celebrations.

As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the AQI on November 12 (4 pm, Average of past 24 hours) in four prominent Odisha cities was recorded ‘poor’.

Bhubaneswar: ‘Poor’
Cuttack: ‘Poor’
Balasore: ‘Poor’
Angul: ‘Poor’
Keonjhar: ‘Moderate’
Rourkela: ‘Moderate’

As people continued to burst firecrackers well beyond the time limit of 10 pm set by the police in the state capital, thick smog enveloped the city and its adjoining areas, reducing visibility significantly.

The Odisha Pollution Control Board had also imposed restrictions on the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali.

In Bhubaneswar, the air quality index (AQI) was in the range of 103 to 130 between November 1 and 4. The PM10 (particles with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less) stood at 145mg/m3 at Chandrasekharpur on November 1, 104 mg/m3 at the monitoring station of OSPCB at Unit VIII on November 2, and 140 mg/m3 at Khandagiri and 101 mg/m3 at Palasuni on November 3. It was found to be 124 mg/m3 and 121 mg/m3 on November 4 at the Capital police station area and IRC village respectively.

The level of PM2.5, another major pollutant in the air, was also said to be poor in parts of the city on November 7. However, the AQI has dropped drastically after Sunday evening, primarily owing to the random use of firecrackers violating all rules.


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