Central Pollution Control also declared it as the second-most polluted city in India.
CPCB made this announcement on Sunday and Gaya was the most polluted city in the country for the day.
The city’s air quality index (AQI) was reported to be ‘poor’ at 247, around 31% higher than Delhi’s ‘Moderate’ AQI of 188. Going by the weather forecast, the situation is likely to get worse in the coming days of the week.
The minimum temperature on Sunday remained 9 degrese Celsius while the maximum temperature was 21 degrees Celsius. “While the maximum temperature is expected to go up to 25°C from the current 20-21°C, we’re expecting more cloudy and foggy days this week. There is no further forecast of rain either,” said a Met official.
The city recorded the highest concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 at 109.56g/m³ on Sunday, up from nearly 50g/m³ on Thursday and Friday. According to WHO, 60g/m³ is the safe level for PM2.5.
Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) blamed the city’s proximity to multiple national and state highways for the poor air quality. “In the NCR region, Gurgaon is perhaps the only city which is situated near a national highway — NH-8, as well as many state highways. The huge rush of heavy vehicles makes the city more polluted. Besides, diesel autos are a major source of air pollution. I don’t see any other factor here for making the city’s air quality worse than that of Delhi,” said an official of HSPCB.
Experts said rise in fog would add to the pollution in the days to come. “Increase in fog means particulate matter will remain trapped in the lower atmosphere, leading to a rise in air pollution. If there is prediction of foggy days ahead, air pollution is definitely going to go up,” said Sudhir Pandey, a former professor of environmental sciences at Delhi University.
Originally Published in the Times Of India