Bengaluru records dip in air pollution this Deepavali


The rain may have played spoilsport for those bursting firecrackers during Deepavali last week, but they impacted the city’s air quality index (AQI), bringing it to just above 50.

This was the analysis of AQI and pollution levels pre- and post-festival by Ambee, a company that provides hyperlocal data on environmental factors in real-time across the globe. The company also analysed air quality data of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad, along with a comparative analysis of air quality in all the five cities during Deepavali this year and the last.

In Bengaluru, the average AQI was just above 50 and PM2.5 levels were around 20. The city’s AQI levels this year were lower than that of last year, with a dip in air pollution.

Madhusudhan Anand, CTO and co-founder, Ambee, said: “The continuous downpour due to cyclonic effect might be the reason behind the drop. Prior to Deepavali, the average AQI was nearing 100, with PM2.5 levels above 30. Post Deepavali, AQI decreased to 60, while the PM2.5 level was lower than 25 last week, indicating an improvement in air quality. Over the last three years, AQI trend in the city has seen a consistent dip.”

This year, along with AQI and PM2.5 levels, Ambee identified the 10 least and most polluted areas by analysing data between November 1 and 7. Among the most polluted areas were Vijayanagar East, Hampinagar, and Chandra Layout, where the average AQI was above 100 and average PM2.5 was above 40. Tavarekere, Jnanabharati, and Nayandanahalli were among the other most polluted areas. On the other hand, Jalahalli West, Dasanapura, and Laggere were among the least polluted with average AQI just above 40 and average PM2.5 levels as low as 10.

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Five cities

Among the five cities, Delhi recorded the highest levels of pollution, with an average AQI above 160 prior to Deepavali and around 250 post festival. The PM2.5 level increased from 100 to 175 post Deepavali. However, there was a marginal decrease in average AQI from 271 in 2020 to 225.5 in 2021. On the contrary, Chennai was the least polluted among the five cities, with the average AQI levels lower than 50 and PM2.5 level hovering around 15.

Mumbai recorded an average AQI of around 150 throughout the period, while Hyderabad saw a marginal drop in pollution levels, with average AQI 110 prior to Deepavali to below 100 and PM2.5 level at 25 post Deepavali.

Mr. Anand said the overall air quality had improved this festival. “For instance, Chennai experienced unusually high precipitation during Deepavali, which largely improved the air quality in the region. Delhi saw a marginal improvement in its air quality level this year as compared to 2020. The October rainfall in Delhi delayed the accumulation of stubble burning smoke and this led to reduction in PM2.5 content. However, Delhi still falls under the severe category and the ongoing stubble burning will add to the increase in pollution levels,” he said.



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Sagar Biswas

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