Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Air pollution in seven cities and towns in Odisha including the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar is in an alarming state due to an increase in vehicular movement and other sources, Forest and Environment Minister Pradip Kumar Amat told the Assembly on Tuesday.

As per the air pollution level, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Rourkela, Talcher, Balasore and Kalinganagar have been identified as non-attainment cities.

As per the minister, these seven cities have been identified non-attainment cities as the level of air pollution is too high and at an alarming level. They have fallen short of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for over five years and do not meet the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard.

“The Union Government has allocated more than Rs 54 crore to the State as per the provision in the Clean Air Action Plan to improve the quality of air in those cities,” said Amat.

As per sources, the current air quality in Bhubaneshwar is 'Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups' (135* US AQI). The present PM2.5 concentration in Bhubaneshwar is 49.2* µg/m³ which is 9.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

New Delhi with 180 US AQI is the most polluted city in India.