Varanasi Most Polluted City In The Country, 4 UP Cities On Top Five; Diwali To Make It Worse
In an alarming increase in pollution levels, four cities in Uttar Pradesh were among the five most polluted in the country on Tuesday (22 October 2019). As per the data released by the Central Pollution Control Board, Varanasi was the most polluted with the air quality index (AQI) reaching 276 followed by Lucknow (269), Muzzafarnagar (266) and Moradabad (256).
On Monday (21 October, 2019), with the AQI rising to 294, Lucknow became the most polluted city in the country. However, clear sky and overcast weather conditions dispersed the particulate matter in the atmosphere.
Environmentalists called it a temporary relief, but also warned of a deterioration in the weather with smog choking the cities and drastic drop in mercury.
With the commencement of Diwali, the pollution levels are expected to go high and experts see the current change in weather as a transient relief.
“The situation will again turn worrisome after Diwali as the air quality is expected to deteriorate to an alarming level,” Prof Dhruvsen Singh, Director, Climate and Air monitoring station told The Times Of India.
He also said that Lucknow is more polluted than the state of Delhi as the AQI of Delhi was 207.
Varanasi Municipal Commissioner Ashutosh Dwivedi said: “Even though extensive tree plantation drives are being conducted to improve air quality, construction work in various infrastructure development projects is playing spoilsport,”
Air Quality In Delhi
The raging farm fires in states bordering Delhi-NCR contributed to a 7% increase in the city’s air pollution due to stubble burning on Tuesday and increased Delhi’s air pollution to 19%, up from 12%.
Meteorologists, however, said that the overall air quality didn’t deteriorate due to strong surface winds sweeping across the national capital.
On Tuesday, the average AQI of Delhi was 207, slightly better than Monday’s 249.