Cold air, pollution take a toll

High PM2.5 Levels In Katraj, Shivajinagar, Karve Road, Hadapsar
The Air Quality Index (AQI) of certain areas in the city was as high as 367 micrograms of pollutant PM2.5 per cubic metre on Tuesday .Such high levels of fine particulate matter in the air have led to the air quality being categorized as `very poor’ by authorities. Experts say it may continue as the weather undergoes change and the temperature drops.

According to real-time data sourced from the apps of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune, and SAMEER under the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), areas including Karve Road, Shivajinagar, Katraj and Hadapsar recorded AQI levels beyond 300 until 6.45pm on Tuesday .

As per SAFAR data, the overall AQI of Pune city stood at 207, with the primary pollutant being PM2.5, and categorised as `poor’. However, in Katraj, the AQI level stood at 367, while levels of 306 and 309 were registered in Shivajinagar, and Hadapsar, respectively. Meanwhile, the AQI level on Karve Road as noted by CPCB’s SAMEER app stood at 318 on Tuesday .

When contacted, Gufran Beig, director of SAFAR, said such a phenomenon was expected. “As the weather changes at the beginning of winter and temperature drops, the level of particulate matter increases in the air.This, combined with the vehicular congestion in certain parts of the city , seems to have raised the AQI level to the `ve ry poor’ category . This happens especially in areas such as Hadapsar and Shivajinagar,“ he told TOI.

Beig added that the last ti me such high levels were recorded was during Diwali, two weeks ago. SAFAR monitors AQI in 10 areas of the city, while SAMEER shows data from Karve Road. As per the forecast by both services, pollution is expected to remain beyond the 300-mark on Wednesday as well.

Source : TOI

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