|1||Amroha, Uttar Pradesh|
|4||Raiganj, West Bengal|
|7||Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh|
|10||Durgapur, West Bengal|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 129 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 46.8 µg/m³|
|Thursday, May 13|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 117 US AQI
|Friday, May 14|
Unhealthy 154 US AQI
|Saturday, May 15|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 122 US AQI
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
|Monday, May 17|
Unhealthy 159 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 18|
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 19|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 128 US AQI
|Thursday, May 20|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 134 US AQI
|Friday, May 21|
Unhealthy 153 US AQI
|Saturday, May 22|
Unhealthy 176 US AQI
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Rohtak is an Indian city located in the state of Haryana, with a close proximity to the capital city of New Delhi, being only 70km northwest of the capital. With its close proximity to New Delhi and many other prominent satellite cities, as well as having large amounts of industrial areas set up within its limits, Rohtak as a result suffers from severe bouts of pollution, with some of its pollution readings making it one of the more polluted cities worldwide.
In late April of 2021, Rohtak was seen with a US AQI reading of 154, a high number that would classify the air on this given day as being ‘unhealthy’, which as the name indicates, presents numerous health issues to those who are exposed to such levels of pollution. The pollution would contain all manner of air contaminants, with chemical compounds, smoke, haze and other harmful particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) being on the list of what comprises this heightened US AQI reading.
Furthermore, in the weeks surrounding the aforementioned reading, it can be seen that there were days that had even higher levels of pollution, as well as maintaining a high average over the course of both March and April. US AQI readings between 114 all the way up to 188 were recorded, indicating that the air quality remains consistently bad, something which is of great concern for the citizens who have to breathe such contaminated air, with certain demographics being even more at risk.
Looking at the data collected over the course of 2020 to get a clearer picture of the pollution levels that Rohtak experiences over a single year, a PM2.5 reading of 74.4 μg/m³ came in as its yearly average. This is a very high number, placing it well within the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such.
This reading of 74.4 μg/m³ placed Rohtak in 27th place out of all cities ranked worldwide in 2020, as well as 20th place out of all Indian cities. This is indicative that Rohtak has much to do to improve the condition of its air in the coming years, if it is to see reduced pollution levels and a cleaner environment for its citizens. Many of these polluting factors rest on a few main causes, which will be discussed in the following question.
Whilst Rohtak typically is subject to many of the same causes of pollution that are seen in all cities across India, which includes fumes from vehicles, industrial emissions as well as the burning of refuse, waste and even material such as charcoal and firewood in homes, it is evident that a large amount of Rohtak’s pollution issues stem from crop, or stubble burning. This is done by farmers in order to clear their fields of their former harvest, as well as returning the nutrients to the soil. When done on a large scale, this can cause massive amounts of smoke and haze to enter into the atmosphere, whereby it can drift over to nearby cities and get trapped within its urban geography, causing the huge spikes in pollution levels that have been (and continue to be seen) on record.
To compound the issue further, with its close proximity to the capital as well as a sizeable industrial presence, the aforementioned polluting factors also have a large role to play in Rohtak’s pollution level issues. Cars, motorbikes, tuk tuk’s and larger freight vehicles such as lorries or trucks can put out huge amounts of pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as large amounts of hazardous particles such as black carbon (the main component in soot), and microscopic rubber particles from worn tire treads, which can accumulate in large amounts over many years.
Industrial activity often requires the use of coal, natural gas and diesel, all of which are combusted in boilers throughout various power plants, factories and other related facilities. This also releases large amounts of pollution into the air, in a similar manner to that of vehicular fumes and emissions, both of them having combustion sources, which are the main cause of pollution in Rohtak. Non combustion pollution sources include ones such as dust accumulated from poorly paved roads, as well as construction sites, road repairs and even demolition areas. All of these can release large amounts of both fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) particles into the air, both of which have highly detrimental effects on health when respired.
Observing the PM2.5 numbers collected over the course of 2020, it can be seen that Rohtak was subject to the its worst levels of pollution towards the end of the year, although indeed much of the year was highly polluted, with ten out of twelve months coming in with the ‘unhealthy’ rating of air quality.
October through to December had the worst readings, with very high PM2.5 numbers of 110.7 μg/m³, 108.1 μg/m³ and 115.2 μg/m³ being recorded, making December the most polluted month of the year, as well as causing that whole period to be a time in which the air quality would be of significant danger to ones health.
As mentioned, whilst the entire year sees very poor levels of air quality, there was a brief window of time in which the PM2.5 levels fell somewhat. The months of July and August were the cleanest of the year, both coming in with readings of 50 μg/m³ and 46.4 μg/m³ respectively. Whilst these are still high by international standards, they were the only two months of the year to fall out of the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, and fall down into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ rating, making them ever so slightly more appreciable, yet still a danger to at risk groups.
These at risk groups include members of the population such as babies and young children, who can be gravely affected by pollution exposure during their vital formative years. Others include the elderly, who are highly vulnerable to both cardiac and respiratory ailments.
Pregnant women are also at high risk, as well as those who have pre-existing health issues, compromised immune systems, or just a general poor level of health or hypersensitivity towards certain chemicals found in the air.