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Guwahati’s Air quality slips from ‘Moderate’ to ‘Poor category’


According to the latest report on Guwahati’s air quality index, released on December 14, the figures displayed show a concerning sign, as Guwahati’s air quality has dipped to the ‘poor’ category, raising concerns about the city’s deteriorating air quality.

In response to the report, Senior Congress leader Pradyut Bordoloi tweeted, “Worrying air quality data from Ghy demystifies the common notion of clear blue skies in the NER. There is an urgent need to assess local sources & targeted interventions. A reminder that air pollution is the 2nd leading risk factor for premature deaths after malnutrition”.

Guwahati’s air quality has significantly deteriorated, with an Index Value of 230 and prominent pollutants displayed as PM 2.5 levels. Weather apps on people’s phones, labelling the city’s AQI as ‘unhealthy,’ have been warning citizens of the deteriorating situation.

Bordoloi shared a study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a think tank based in New Delhi, which found that Guwahati has the most polluted air in northeastern India. “The Average PM 2.5 levels in 2021 (up till November 30) has already surpassed the 2019 annual average in Guwahati. The city’s 2020 annual average was also higher than its 2019 average which indicates a continuous worsening of air in the city”.

The AQI is divided into six categories: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. Each of these categories is determined by the ambient concentration levels of air pollutants and their potential health effects (known as health breakpoints). The higher the AQI value, the more polluted the air is and the more serious the health concerns.

Guwahati’s degrading poor air quality has been attributed to rampant construction and increased vehicular movement. Since January 29, the city has been experiencing deteriorating air quality, which has been classified as ‘poor’ by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

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