LUCKNOW: In a major health concern for the state, four UP cities were among the five most polluted in the country on Tuesday.
According to the data released by the Central Pollution Control Board, Varanasi was the most polluted city with air quality index (AQI) touching 276, followed by Lucknow (AQI 269), Muzaffarnagar (AQI 266), Yamunanagar in Haryana (AQI 264) and Moradabad (AQI 256).
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On Monday, Lucknow was the most polluted city in the country with AQI rising to 294. The slight improvement in Lucknow’s AQI was due to change in weather. Clear sky with moderate winds dispersed the particulate matter hanging in the atmosphere for the past two days due to overcast conditions, said weather experts. However, environmentalists said it is a temporary relief and the situation would turn worse in the coming days with smog engulfing cities due to drop in mercury.
Air quality to worsen after Diwali: Expert
Pollution level might have dropped but it’s only a transient relief. The situation will again turn worrisome after Diwali as the air quality is expected to deteriorate to alarming level,” said Prof Dhruvsen Singh, director, climate and air monitoring station.
He said Lucknow is more polluted than Delhi. The AQI of New Delhi was 207.
Varanasi municipal commissioner Ashutosh Dwivedi said: “Though extensive tree plantation drives are being conducted to improve air quality, construction work in various infrastructure development projects is playing spoilsport.”