Air quality in the city has dipped from 'moderate' to 'poor' following Diwali festivities, according to readings of West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) on Wednesday.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) read 233 (PM 2.5) at WBPCB's air monitoring station at Rabindra Bharati University in north Kolkata at 8 am, an official of the board said.
AQI between 201 and 300 mark is categorised as 'poor' and 'very unhealthy' and can cause respiratory problems.
The PM 2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) level at the air monitoring station at Jadavpur in south Kolkata read 218 around the same time, the official said.
The corresponding PM 2.5 level at Ballygunge stood at 207 while the reading at Fort William in the green zone in central Kolkata touched 201, he said.
"AQI readings in the three monitoring stations deteriorated to 'poor' on Wednesday morning from 'moderate' (PM 2.5 level 101-200) since the beginning of Diwali festivities. However, this can be attributed to the rise in moisture levels in the air," he said.
AQI read 184 PM 2.5 at the air monitoring station at Victoria Memorial while it read 191 at Rabindra Sarobar and 187 at Bidhannagar on Wednesday, the official said.
"Although the readings in these three monitoring stations were categorised as 'moderate', they were all closer to the 200-mark, indicating at rising pollution level in those areas as well," environmentalist Somendranath Ghosh said.
The PM 2.5 level at Ghusuri, an industrial area in the twin city of Howrah, turned 302 on Tuesday night, which is highest in the metropolitan area in the past few days, an official said.
Ghosh said the rise in AQI can be attributed to unrestricted use of firecrackers during Diwali celebrations apart from vehicular emissions and burning of chullah (wood- fired stove).
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