Bengaluru city’s air quality has worsened from ‘good’ to ‘satisfactory’ as the smoke and fumes from firecrackers have caused to particulate matter 2.5 and 10.
In 2014, the National Air Quality Index (AQI) was launched by the Government of India under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
During early days of the unlock this year, the AQI has remained under 50 points helping it retain the ‘good’ title. The gradual reopening of various sectors also ensured that the AQI numbers stayed under 100 points.
However, bursting firecrackers in the past three days has caused the pollution as PM 10 has spiked up by 100 micrograms and PM 2.5 by 60 micrograms per 1,000 litres of air.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered as ‘good’, 51 to 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 to 200 ‘moderate’, 201 to 300 ‘poor’, 301 to 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 to 500 is ‘severe’.
On Thursday and Friday night, the amount of harmful particles in the air has gone up. The areas that saw the AQI cross the 200-mark include the Central Silk Board junction, Jayanagar, BTM Layout and other surrounding areas, while monitoring stations in other areas witnessed the pollution double.
KSPCB official told Deccan Herald, “Increased humidity will prevent particulate matters from rising. When toxic smoke from crackers gets mixed with the air, it makes things worse.”
He added that the Air Quality Index above 100 will likely cause breathing-related problems.