Bihar figures in top 10 most polluted cities in the country

PATNA: Bihar figured in the top 10 most polluted cities in the country as the air pollution level surpassed other states on Monday, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials said.

According to the CPCB, Begusarai recorded the worst air quality in the country where AQI stood at 446 followed by Bettiah at 439, Samastipur at 437, and Chhapra at 404.

Apart from this, 12 cities/towns from Bihar recorded ‘very poor’ AQI which inched closer to ‘severe’. AQI at Katihar stood at 396, Motihari 391, Purnia 389, Patna 385, Muzaffarpur 383, and Bhagalpur 365, officials said.

After Bihar, the other two most polluted cities in the country were Asansol (358) and Siliguri (337).

Hajipur, Kishanganj, Gaya, and Sasaram recorded ‘poor’ air quality where AQI fluctuated between 270 and 298. Gopalganj recorded a ‘moderate’ AQI with an index value of 108.

Meanwhile, officials of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) said AQI in the state is likely to remain poor during the winter season.

“Dip in mercury, thermal inversion process, transboundary movement of pollutants, humidity, wind speed, and its directions are the geographical and meteorological factors responsible for air pollution. Anthropogenic factors include vehicular emission, industrial smoke, open burning of coal, and transportation of uncovered construction materials. The AQI study of the state also shows that around 25% of urban pollution is contributed by rural areas caused by an open fire for cooking and stubble burning”, said Ashok Ghosh, BSPCB chairman.

Meanwhile, the state witnessed a dip in temperature by two degrees.

According to Patna Meteorological Centre, Gaya remained the coldest place in the state with the lowest minimum temperature of 8.8°C. The average maximum temperature stood at 24°C to 26 °C while the average minimum temperature stood at 12°C to 14°C.