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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: While the national capital Delhi has been battling with severely poor air quality since the first week of October this year, and when the Delhiites are struggling hard to breathe a lump of clean air, the big warning shot here is air in Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar is predicted to take a worse turn from today, only to peak at on December 8.

The forecast is PM 2.5 level in the air of State capital Bhubaneswar will rise to a dangerous level of 219 microgram/m3 on coming Tuesday (December 8), when the safe limit for PM2.5 in the air is stipulated at 60 micrograms per m3.

Not only Bhubaneswar, the air quality is projected to deteriorate even in the north coastal districts like Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore etc.

This grim warning on the worsening of the air quality in the State has come from the Air Quality Early Warning model of the government of India agency, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. The same model has been making accurate predictions every year about the air quality of the national capital Delhi.

As per the model’s forecast for Odisha, while the Air quality over whole of the State is predicted to remain moderately polluted, except places in Malkangiri, the air quality in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and adjoining areas will turn poor from today.

Why The Air Quality Will Show Deterioration?

An analysis of the model attributes the reasons to the incursion of pollutants from north India and development of foggy conditions till Friday in the coastal districts, especially in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara etc. It also indicated that the direction of wind flow to Odisha will be from the north east, and the anti cyclonic air circulation over Odisha and adjoining states is the major reason behind the incursion of the pollutants, infers the analysis.

Real Time Pollution In State Capital Today

The Air Quality Index is said to be moderately polluted today in Bhubaneswar, reveals the Skymet real time data at noon hours. While the air quality is specified as unhealthy in Jayadev Vihar, it's moderate in other areas. The cause for big worry is PM 2.5 in Jayadev air is measured at 113 micro gram/m3, whereas the level hovered in the safe range of around 60-75.

Why Worry?

PM 2.5 are pollutant particles having a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometer, which is smaller than width of human air. These fine particles are by-products of vehicular emissions, especially cars, heavy commercial vehicles and Autorickshaws. Fine dust particles also make up the PM2.5.

Since these pollutants are fine particles they can penetrate deep into the lungs, therefore a high level of PM2.5 concentration is very harmful for human health.

Vehicular emission and suspension of fine dust particles in air is highest in the capital city in stretches like Patia square – Jayadev Vihar square, Baramunda and Laxmisagar etc.

Pakistan Stubble Hand In Delhi Pollution?

The Air quality analysis today for Delhi reveals that stubble burning at places in Pakistan that are adjoining to Punjab also has a contribution to Delhi air pollution. However, the model forecast reveals that there are very negligible counts of stubble burning in Punjab, adjoining Pakistan and Haryana.

But the bad news is, the air quality in the national capital will unlikely to show any vast improvement till the coming Wednesday, though the air quality today in Delhi may improve to the poor category from severely poor category.

The Delhi air quality analysis reasons that the national capital’s air quality will remain severely poor, because the ventilation index is going to remain below 6000 m2/s today, but will improve to 6500 m2/s in next two days. But the wind speed is predicted to remain below or around 10kmph, which impedes the dispersion of pollutants in Delhi’s air, it points out.

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