Air Quality In Odisha Capital Slips To ‘Moderate’ Category
Bhubaneswar: While Delhi is choking with pollution levels again turning ‘severe’ on Wednesday morning, the air quality in Odisha capital is also causing concern having plunged to ‘moderately polluted’ category with winter settling in.
Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela – and four towns – Balasore, Angul, Talcher and Kalinganagar in the state are identified as non-attainment cities with high PM-10 and PM 2.5 in ambient air. And the state capital now ranks first among these cities and towns, according to reports.
In Bhubaneswar, 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 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 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.
According to Odisha State Pollution Board (OSPCB) officials, the level of the pollutant at different stations was found to be in the range of 35 to 54 mg/m3 on on November 3 and 4. Although there are no large industrial establishments here, construction activities along with the regular movement of heavy goods on National Highway-16 is massively contributing to the deteriorating air quality in the city.
The officials added that temperature inversion, especially during winter, further prevent the rise and dispersal of pollutants from the lower layers of the atmosphere with PM10 pollutant remaining suspended in the air for nearly six hours and PM2.5 for even a longer period. While the coarse (bigger) particles can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, the fine (smaller) particles can get into the deep parts of your lungs, causing cough and asthma attacks, or even into your blood, according to Centre of Disease Control and Prevention.
Notably, clean air action plan has been devised as per National Clean Air Programme (Ncap) at these seven places in the state. The highest of Rs 20.52 crore of Rs 54.38 crore received in the last financial year under Ncap was sanctioned for Bhubaneswar to ensure that steps are taken to reduce air pollution, Forest ,Environment and Climate Change Minister Pradip Amat had told the Assembly in March.
In April, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), in its annual winter pollution report, stated that Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha are increasingly falling into the pincer grip of toxic particulate pollution during winter season. Bihar with an average PM2.5 level of 134 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) was the most polluted state in the east, followed by West Bengal with average PM2.5 level of 84 µg/m3 between October 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023.
Odisha was third with a seasonal average of 63 µg/m3 with Talcher (75 µg/m³) being the most polluted.
(With inputs from TNIE)