In a span of just five hours, pollution in Ghaziabad rose from unhealthy to hazardous level on Sunday. The Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded between 5 pm and 10 pm showed steep rise in two major pollutants, PM10 and PM 2.5, in the city's atmosphere.
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the AQI of the city stood at 124 around 5 PM which comes under ‘moderate’ category. However, this reading started rising and by 10 pm it crossed 500 mark which is considered 'severe'.
The UP government had permitted two-hour window, from 8 pm to 10 pm, to burn only green crackers. This step was taken to control air pollution in pursuance of the Supreme Court's order dated October 23, 2018. After 8 pm, when the official window to burst crackers got opened, the AQI of the city was recorded at 358, which comes under 'very poor' category.
As per the CPCB data, in last seven days, the average AQI of Ghaziabad has been close to 450.
In such a situation, prolonged exposure can severely impact health of an individual. Doctors have advised the residents to cover their face with pollution mask or wet handkerchief.