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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 74* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Hajipur is currently 4.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 74 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Moderate 77 AQI US
|Saturday, Oct 7|
Moderate 87 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 8|
Moderate 98 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 9|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 134 AQI US
|Tuesday, Oct 10|
Unhealthy 153 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 11|
Unhealthy 155 AQI US
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Hajipur is the largest city and headquarters of the Vaishali district of the Tirhut Division in the Indian state of Bihar. It sits on the banks of the Gandaki River. It is renowned for banana, lychee and mangoes. The capital city of Bihar State is Patna and Hajipur is just 10 kilometres away although they are separated by the river Ganges. In 2011 it had an estimated population of almost 150,000, though this figure will have increased over the last 10 years. It could not be classed as an industrial city with just 9 per cent of the economy is based on industry. The service sector accounts for the majority with 55 per cent and agriculture making up the balance of 35 per cent.
At the beginning of the second quarter in 2021, Hajipur was experiencing a period of “Unhealthy” air with a US AQI figure of 169. This classification is in accordance with recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The concentration levels of four benchmark pollutants were as follows: PM2.5 - 90.2 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 17 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 4.8 µg/m³ and sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 3.2 µg/m³. With numbers of this size, you would be advised to close all doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more dirty air. Those people who are sensitive to poor air quality should avoid venturing outside until the air quality improves. Even healthy people should not exercise outside for the same reason. The table at the top of this page may help you decide when it is safe to go outside again.
By checking the latest figures published by IQAir.com it can be seen that the worst time of year for air pollution in Hajipur is during the colder months of the year. From the beginning of October until the end of the following March, the recorded levels of air pollution were classified as being “Unhealthy” with readings between 55.5 and 150.4 µg/m³. The spring months of April and May showed a slight improvement when the quality was classed as being “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with corresponding figures between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³. This was again the case in late summer from July to the end of September. The month of June was the cleanest month with “Moderate” levels of pollution with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. There were no records kept from previous years so the only annual figure available is from 2020 when the average level was 54 µg/m³.
Because the quality of air differs throughout the year, so too do the sources. During the month of March, the festival of Holika Dahan is celebrated where effigies are burned in celebration of the victory of good over evil. Air pollution in the city saw a significant increase recently when levels of PM2.5 rose 2.5 times higher than the permissible level of 60 µg/m³.
Another seasonal source of air pollution comes at the end of autumn when residue from the crops is burnt. The government encourages farmers not to partake of this practice and in some state have made it illegal. However, in order to get around the problem, the fires are stared at night when it is almost impossible to prove who the guilty party was. The government makes machinery available which converts the straw into briquettes which can be used in the power stations instead of coal. They also guarantee to buy these briquettes but the uptake is somewhat slow.
Another more general cause of polluted air comes from vehicle emissions. Many of the vehicles on the road are older ones which have been imported cheaply as they are no longer suitable for use in other countries. In India, the rules and regulations are less strict so are welcomed as a cheaper way of getting mobile.
Air pollution will be reduced by 30 to 40 per cent by 2024 in 120 cities facing the country's pollution problem. In this, the Union Ministry of Environment will work closely with representatives of the State Pollution Control Board, local bodies of cities and representative institutions. The ministry will provide technology and financial assistance in this campaign.
A move towards cleaner vehicle fuel has led to a reduction in pollutive emissions of 160 per cent in the last 5 years. This is especially pertinent for diesel-powered vehicles. Another approved measure is the introduction of e-buses in the larger cities. However, out of the 62 cities where they have been approved for use, only 20 cities have taken further steps and expressed an interest in them. The central government since decided to reallocate those e-buses to the cities that did express an interest in them.
Many families in India, especially in the rural areas depend on wood, coal, and cow dung for cooking. Smoke resulting from the burning of such fuels causes hazardous domestic pollution and adversely affects the health of women and children. Under the Ujjwala program to tackle this problem, LPG cylinders and connections are being provided in all houses. It aims to increase the supply of gas in cities and the use of LPG cylinders in all rural households.
If everyone in the country uses clean energy for cooking such as gas or electricity, then about one-quarter of the air pollution will be reduced. This change can be brought about within the next three years.
Air pollution causes respiratory diseases such as COPD. Due to air pollution, bronchial asthma takes extreme form and apart from this, it causes fatigue, headache and anxiety, irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, damage to the nervous system and a general bad effect on the cardiovascular system.
During the winter months when the humidity in the air will decrease, straw will be burnt in the fields, due to all this, the pollution in winter reaches its highest level. In the last 30 years, many fatal effects on health have been found due to air pollution. These include respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung problems, cardiovascular diseases, bad results in pregnancy such as premature delivery and even death.