Air quality in Shimla

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Shimla

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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*IQAir’s AQI data modeled using satellite data. Learn more

Shimla does not have air monitor data

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Weather

What is the current weather in Shimla?

Weather icon
WeatherClear sky
Temperature55.4°C
Humidity89%
Wind4.2 mp/h
Pressure1011 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time India city ranking

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#cityUS AQI
1 Amritsar, Punjab

230

2 Loni, Uttar Pradesh

175

3 Bawana, Delhi

170

4 Deoli, Delhi

167

5 Alipur, Delhi

164

6 Dhariwal, Punjab

162

7 Ambala, Haryana

159

8 Jodhpur, Rajasthan

159

9 Dadri, Uttar Pradesh

158

10 Delhi, Delhi

158

(local time)

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live Shimla aqi ranking

Real-time Shimla air quality ranking

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City AQI based on satellite data. No ground level station currently available in Shimla.

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US AQI

97 *

live AQI index
Moderate

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Shimla?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 97 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
34.2 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x3

PM2.5 concentration in Shimla air is currently 3 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Shimla?

An open window iconClose your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air
A man cycling iconSensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise

Forecast

Shimla air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Today

Moderate 97 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon69.8°55.4°
Wind rotating 258 degree

4.5 mp/h

Wednesday, Sep 29

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 105 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon69.8°53.6°
Wind rotating 277 degree

4.5 mp/h

Thursday, Sep 30

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 113 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon68°55.4°
Wind rotating 279 degree

4.5 mp/h

Friday, Oct 1

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 135 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon68°53.6°
Wind rotating 270 degree

4.5 mp/h

Saturday, Oct 2

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 129 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon66.2°53.6°
Wind rotating 279 degree

4.5 mp/h

Sunday, Oct 3

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 127 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon68°53.6°
Wind rotating 279 degree

4.5 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Shimla

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Shimla

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Shimla

What is the air quality index of Shimla?

Shimla, also known as Simla, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The 2011 estimated population for the metropolitan area was 171,640 people, though it will be considerably more now. Shimla is situated in the south-western range of the Himalayas. It has an average altitude of 2,206 metres (7,238 feet) above sea level and extends along a seven-pointed ridge. The city extends nearly 9.2 kilometres (5.7 miles) from east to west.

In early 2021, Shimla was experiencing “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 76. This is in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

What is the main source of air pollution in Shimla?

According to the Pollution Control Board, 80 per cent of air pollution in the state is due to diesel vehicles.

Another major reason for the increase in dust particles in the air is the decaying roads. For this reason, when vehicles run on these roads, dust and soil particles are swept up into the air. Apart from this, the reason for increasing air pollution is the debris being thrown on the roadside. Twenty years old diesel vehicles which are still running on the roads of the state are also another reason for the high pollution levels here.

During the colder, winter months, many homes use poor quality fuel to heat their homes and cook their meals with. Charcoal and dried animal dung cakes are surprisingly efficient but so bad for the environment. Cooking is usually done by the women of the household and are often accompanied by their young children who want to stay by “mum’s” side. These rooms very often have little or no ventilation so the atmosphere remains polluted for several hours.

Because of the drop in temperature, the polluted air is often trapped in the lower levels due to temperature inversion. This is where layers of air at different temperatures do not mix and stay separate.

What is the pollution level in Shimla?

After Diwali, the pollution level in the air of Shimla had risen beyond safe standards, which should be an alarm bell for the people of the city. Apart from the possibility of asthma and diseases due to increasing levels of pollution, it is harmful to asthma patients as it can soon induce an attack. Shocking facts have come out in the report of pollution levels measured in the city air on and after Diwali by the Pollution Control Board. The city air had been polluted more than last year due to fireworks and firecrackers set off over the Diwali celebrations.

The level of air pollution in Shimla had reached a very dangerous level in terms of health for its residents. This was partly due to the slow wind speed that was occurring at that time.

In the surrounding rural areas, straw is burnt at this time of year after the harvest. It has been a traditional way of preparing the ground for the next crop but it is a huge source of PM2.5 and PM10 particles. There are other ways of handling the organic waste but burning is the cheapest and therefore the most popular.

Is air pollution in Shimla getting better or worse?

In early 2020, the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station at Taka Bench on the ridge of Shimla city had been restarted. The station was established in 1984 but had to close in 2017 for much-needed renovation work.

High-ranking officials visited the site since it re-opened in order to check that the equipment was working as it should be.

A spokesman said that the assessment of ambient air quality through this station will give a boost to the tourism sector in the state including Shimla and improve Shimla's ranking under the Smart City program. The air quality will be monitored through various parameters set through this station. Presently the board is checking the ambient air quality through 25 stations in the state. In addition, online continuous ambient air monitoring stations are being set up in Shimla and Baddi.

Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide gases involved in air pollution contribute to increasing the Earth's temperature. These gases form a layer in the Earth's atmosphere. This layer blocks the energy released from the surface, which increases the temperature of the Earth and creates the problem of global warming.

What can be done to improve the air quality in Shimla?

As one of the major sources of air pollution in Shimla, twenty year old diesel vehicles running on the roads have to be stopped to eliminate air pollution. They are causing the most air pollution. There is also a need to limit the number of vehicles allowed into the city centre at any given time. Green sites are encouraged as are the planting of native trees to act as a wind-break and help absorb some of the carbon dioxide (CO2).

What are the effects of breathing Shimla’s poor quality air?

Small particles of poisonous substances present in polluted air enter our body while breathing. Polluted toxic particles reach our heart, lungs and brain and can lead to many serious diseases. Polluted air causes cancer, Parkinson's disease, asthma, coughing, eye irritation and dangerous allergic reactions. Apart from this, the problem of global warming and climate change also arises due to the effect of polluted air. Which has serious harmful effects on human health.

It is important to note that the polluted air contains smoke and polluted gases from industries and vehicles, as well as dust particles. According to research, a decrease of 10 micrograms in the particles of air in the air increases the average lifetime of the person by 15 per cent. Air pollution is directly related to diseases of the heart and brain.

The most toxic gas contained in polluted air is sulphur dioxide. This gas emission is due to the burning of substances from coal, petroleum and other fossil fuels. Gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen also contribute significantly to air pollution. The effect of this gas causes severe respiratory and lung disease. Also, polluted air is the main cause of brain diseases as well as heart attacks.

The largest problem caused by air pollution is the increased risk of lung disease. Because of their smaller stature, children are particularly affected. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are diseases caused by air pollution in the lungs.

Where is the cleanest air quality in Shimla?

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