STAFF REPORTER GUWAHATI:
Guwahati Air Pollution (AQI) Forecast: The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Guwahati shot up to 298 on Thursday. As per the yardsticks of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), AQI of 298 is considered as "Poor" air category. If the present trend continues, the AQI of the State's capital city will be more than 300 ("Very Poor" category) by Saturday.
Even the healthy people can develop respiratory illness in case the AQI increases beyond 300. The AQI in between 101 to 200 is considered "moderate" followed by "poor" (201-300 AQI), "very poor" (301-400 AQI), and "severe" (401 & above AQI).
"With long rainless condition, the air quality in Guwahati has deteriorated due to dust and emission produced by vehicles and industries.
"Polluted air directly impacts lungs. Poor lungs may make the people more vulnerable to Coronavirus infection and resultant complications such breathlessness and oxygen saturation," said an expert at the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA).
He added that in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the residents of Guwahati cannot take the risk of inhaling such poor-quality air.
During the lockdown in 2020, the AQI in Guwahati has gone below 40. The air quality index (AQI) was 47 in April, 52 in May, 45 in June and 42 in July. The AQI in between 0 to 100 is considered good with minimal impact on respiratory ailments and distress.
However in October 2020 (after the lockdown), the AQI suddenly shoot up to at 82 followed by 103 (moderate category) in November, 2020.
The expert also said that in case there is moderate to heavy rain during the coming days, dust and emission produced mainly by vehicles will subside and the AQI might improve in the city.
On Thursday, the AQI in Kohima was 213 ("Poor") and Aizawl recorded the AQI of 162 ("Moderate").