Noida: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Noida and Greater Noida has spiked to an alarming level. On Sunday, 12:00 pm, the AQI of Noida, Sector 62 was 444, which is categorised as hazardous. In Sector 1 and 125, the situation was the same and the air quality index of the areas was 356 and 353 respectively which is categorised as hazardous.
Noida’s air quality was already in the red zone ahead of Diwali. A recurring reason for this is stubble burning. Post-Diwali, the air quality became “hazardous” in various parts of the city.
According to aqicn.org, in Sector 116, the AQI is 345, which is categorised as very unhealthy. In knowledge park III and Knowledge park V, the AQI is 252, 213 respectively, which is categorised as unhealthy.
The smog was visible from the balcony of highrise societies in Noida and Greater Noida. Residents of Noida and Greater shared pictures on social media. The cases of chronic headaches and eye irritation that are the direct results of the worsening air quality in Noida are on the rise.
Despite the banning of firecrackers by the government on Diwali, fireworks were massively burnt. However, in cities like Noida and Greater Noida, fireworks are not the only sources of pollution. As per residents, the lack of public transport forces people to take out their vehicles which adds to the pollution. The construction sites are also one of the major contributors to the pollution in these cities.
According to the residents, respiratory ailments have severed because of the pollution, itchy throat and watery eyes are common complaints. Long-term exposures to such air can lead to serious conditions.
Rajiva Singh, NOOFA president said, “It is very unfortunate that year on year, we go through the same ordeal of extremely poor AQIs in the NCR region. Polluting vehicles and construction dust are major contributors. And with the meteorological challenges of slow winds and drop in temperature, these four winter months convert the NCR region into a gas chamber."
“The days immediately after Diwali are ruthless, especially in this post-Covid era when several people are still recovering from lung infections. What is needed are strong measures throughout the year like penalties for defaulters who are generating pollution, more smog towers, planting trees, EV more on roads, use of public transport, cycling tracks for works, e cycles, etc,” exclaimed Rajiva
A resident from Greater Noida said, “The air quality has definitely crumbled which isn't a good sign for the wellbeing of inhabitants. Careful steps should be taken as quickly as time permits so this doesn't turn into a health emergency.”