Wednesday, November 30: If you were to take a stroll through Bengaluru, one of the first things you’d notice about it would be the variety of trees lining almost every roadside in the city. And let’s not forget how the Karnataka capital earned the moniker of ‘Garden City’ owing to the plethora of parks and gardens dotting it.
While this might give you the impression that the air in Bengaluru is perpetually clean and crisp, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The city makes it to the list of India’s most polluted cities almost consistently each year.
The air quality begins its annual downhill journey in the month of October and continues to worsen throughout the winter months.
On Wednesday morning (November 30), Bangaloreans woke up to a ‘poor’ AQI (Air Quality Index) of 210, with its major pollutants being particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide. This is the poorest Bengaluru’s air quality has been all month.
As of 1:30 PM in the afternoon, the city’s overall AQI improved to 148.6, putting it in the ‘moderate’ category. However, pollution levels remained high in some parts of the Karnataka capital, with Bapuji Nagar’s AQI being the worst at 274 — almost touching the ‘very poor’ category, BTM recording 188, and Hebbal and Jayanagar 5th block registering 156.
For context, an AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”; 51 to 100 is “satisfactory”, 101 to 200 is “moderate”, 201 to 300 “poor”, 301 to 400 “very poor”, and 401 to 500 “severe”.
Meanwhile, the current PM2.5 concentration in the city is 6.1 times above the recommended limit given by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 24-hour air quality guidelines value. The major pollutants in the city on Wednesday morning were PM2.5, PM10, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide.
A drop in air quality negatively impacts people with respiratory illnesses. In order to protect themselves from the polluted air, SAFAR recommends residents stay indoors, keep windows closed, use air purifiers in closed spaces and wear a mask when venturing out.
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