Air quality in Shimla

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

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What is the current weather in Shimla?

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WeatherBroken clouds
Wind0 mp/h
Pressure30 Hg

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Unhealthy for sensitive groups

Human face indicating AQI level


What is the current air quality in Shimla?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 118* US AQIPM2.5



PM2.5 concentration in Shimla is currently 8.5 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value

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What is the current air quality in Shimla?

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Shimla air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind

Unhealthy for sensitive groups 118 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 40%
62.6° 51.8°
Wind rotating 77 degree 6.7 mp/h
Monday, Apr 15

Moderate 91 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 90%
66.2° 48.2°
Wind rotating 66 degree 6.7 mp/h
Tuesday, Apr 16

Moderate 92 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 80%
68° 46.4°
Wind rotating 270 degree 8.9 mp/h
Wednesday, Apr 17

Moderate 79 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
73.4° 46.4°
Wind rotating 268 degree 8.9 mp/h
Thursday, Apr 18

Moderate 90 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
71.6° 51.8°
Wind rotating 281 degree 4.5 mp/h
Friday, Apr 19

Unhealthy for sensitive groups 101 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 90%
71.6° 48.2°
Wind rotating 206 degree 8.9 mp/h
Saturday, Apr 20

Moderate 90 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
68° 46.4°
Wind rotating 73 degree 6.7 mp/h

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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?

No locations are available.

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