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Unhealthy for sensitive groups
|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
|Unhealthy for sensitive groups
| 108* US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Allahabad is currently 7.7 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 108 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 105 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 110 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 129 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 115 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 85 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 75 AQI US
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Allahabad officially known as Prayagraj, also known as Ilahabad or Prayag, is a metropolis in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2011 the estimated population was 2.3 million people which included all those in the metropolitan area. This ranked it as the 7th most populous city in the state.
At the beginning of 2021, Allahabad was experiencing a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 99. This classification is in accordance with the suggestions from the World Health Service (WHO). The recorded level of the PM2.5 pollutant was 35.2 µg/m³.
With levels of pollution at this size, it is advisable to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air into the rooms. Those of a sensitive disposition should avoid outdoor activities until the air quality improves. If venturing outside is unavoidable, then a good quality mask should be worn.
The World Health Organisation report includes 15 cities in India alone among the 20 most polluted cities. Uttar Pradesh has Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Agra and Firozabad included on the list.
Air pollution is increasing to dangerous levels in the city. The main reason for this is the construction of roads and garbage littering the streets waiting to be burnt. Due to the rising dust, the level of Particulate Matter (PM10) has increased by three to four times, due to which people feel suffocated. New sewers are also being constructed which causes a huge disruption to the roads where they are being sunk. Dust is disturbed and soil and other powdery deposits are left lying on the streets. Residents from these areas and visiting shoppers comment on the poor way the new sewers are being installed with not much thought to the dust given off by their workings.
Before digging the roads for any work, they should be enclosed by metal sheets or tarpaulin. There is also a guideline to do this. Metro roads were extensively dug up when the Metro Rail in Lucknow was being built, but before starting work there, sheet metal was laid on the road. This happens because the soil does not spread, due to which the problem of dust does not arise, but nothing was done before the roads were dug for laying sewer lines in the city. They do not even spray water.
There is no one source when it comes to air pollution, but many. These include dust, biomass burning, industrial emissions, coal-powered plants, deforestation and complex weather patterns.
The Indo-Gangetic plain is a highly productive, fertile river basin that supports more than 200 million people.
Uttar Pradesh has a high concentration of industrial and agricultural activity. The key industrial hotspots of this state stretch from Ghaziabad to Sonbhadra. This belt is home to 10 per cent of India’s coal-fired power generation plants and they are all located close to the Ganges. The entire Indo-Gangetic plain has high levels of nitrogen and sulphur oxides, which are responsible for increased levels of particulate matter in the air which are the small particles blamed for rising asthma, chronic lung diseases and heart attacks.
At least 60,000 non-commercial and 1,000 commercial vehicles register with the RTO every year. There are 7 pollution checking points that have been set up across the city and as many as 400 to 500 car are fined each month for breaching the pollution levels.
Commercial vehicle owners are given a 7-year permit which allows them free range of the state. Private vehicles are given one for 15 years. Once the permits have expired, the vehicle is rigorously tested before the permit is renewed.
Wind currents also carry the toxic fumes from burning biomass (both because of burning municipal solid waste and farmers clearing fields by burning stubble) from neighbouring states. Identifying these various sources of pollutants is crucial to curb air pollution, experts say. And for that, they recommend an effective monitoring network across various cities with state of the art technology.
Air pollution that reaches peak levels during winter can be prevented by controlling the burning of crop residue. Instead of burning the straw in the open fields, briquettes of crop residue should be made. In thermal power plants, they can be burned up to 10-20 per cent instead of coal. If the government announces now that the briquettes will be bought by the government over the next four years, then the market forces will distribute them. Private investors will set up small brick making plants at the village level and will also provide an attractive price for the straw to the farmers. This will provide some additional income to the farmers.
Currently, thermal plants are using imported coal and if they use briquettes instead of imported coal, there will be no additional cost. In this way, the problem of burning straw is also solved.
Another positive way to increase air quality is to improve the quality of fuel available. BS6 standard fuel will be available nationwide later this year and automobile companies will start selling BS6 standard vehicles.
There are many old vehicles still in daily use in these big Indian cities. Those who want to replace their old vehicle will be given attractive incentives to buy a new vehicle and scrap the old vehicle. This will increase the number of people upgrading older vehicles. There should be a 50 per cent GST refund on the purchase of vehicles.
Air pollution comes in many forms. This is usually due to nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, exhaust fumes emitted from vehicles, smoke, dust and chemicals from the factory chimneys. Exposure to it can cause respiratory diseases such as coughing, wheezing, eye and sinus irritation, bronchitis, asthma and emphysema, severe fatigue, decreased lung capacity and shortness of breath, damage to lungs and heart, fatal diseases such as cancer. It has the most effect on pregnant women, children, infants and the elderly.
If a pregnant woman is forced to breathe in polluted air, its direct effect can be seen on her pregnancy. According to a study, there are about 3 million children born prematurely every year due to air pollution, which greatly increases the chance of malnutrition. Apart from this, he may also be at risk of diabetes, heart-related diseases and high blood pressure.