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AQI in 10 cities of Bihar ‘severe’ category & setting a record of the 10 most polluted cities in the country

The Air Quality Index (AQI) in 10 cities of Bihar on Tuesday slipped to the ‘severe’ category, setting a dubious record as the 10 most polluted cities in the country, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. According to CPCB’s 24-hour bulletin, Darbhanga recorded an AQI of 473, the worst among 185 cities across the country.

10 cities crossed the 400 mark in a day for the first time this season:

Siwan remained the second most polluted city in the country with an AQI of 460, followed by Begusarai 457, Saharsa 454, Samastipur 437, Muzaffarpur 424, Chapra 420, Katihar 437, Purnia 431 and Bettiah 406.

Besides, the AQI in three cities remained at the threshold of the ‘severe’ category – Patna and Bhagalpur recorded an AQI of 399 each, followed by Motihari at 390. Cities with “very poor” air quality were Munger with an AQI of 350, Bihar Sharif 346, Arrah 341, Araria 335 and Kishanganj 320, while Gaya and Rajgir remained in the “poor” category. The CPCB classifies an AQI of zero to 50 as “good”, 51-100 as “satisfactory”, 101-200 as “moderate”, 201-300 as “poor”, 301-400 as “very poor” and above 401 as “severe “.

State pollution watchdog officials blamed a drop in temperature, smog, open fire and vehicle emissions along with geographical factors for worsening AQI in the state. “The geographical location of Bihar and the current meteorological conditions are factors in the deteriorating air quality. There is a slight decrease in mercury, fogs are observed in several places in the morning hours. Pollutant particles remain suspended in the atmosphere due to thermal inversion. Hence, the AQI values ​​are showing rising trends,” said Ashok Kumar Ghosh, Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB).

“Until last year, air monitoring stations were installed in only four to five cities. This year the number has increased to 35 in 22 districts. Therefore, for the first time, we are getting AQI data from different districts. Since air is not compartmentalized, we need to implement a comprehensive action plan to reduce overall air pollution in the state,” Ghosh said.

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