While Delhi hogs all the attention for its high air pollution, there are towns and cities in the vicinity of the national capital which have even higher pollution levels.
To be clear, the air quality index (AQI) scores fluctuate over days and a particular place may have a higher or lower pollution level on a given day. However, the broad trend of quality of air would remain consistent.
There seems to be a north-south divide on pollution. While the most polluted places are in the north, the best air quality is dominated by southern towns and cities.
As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) monitoring data on the air quality index (AQI) on Thursday, Sirsa in Haryana was the most polluted with a AQI score of 342, followed by three places in Uttar Pradesh - Sahibabad at 315, Moradabad at 305, Ghaziabad at 295 - and Jind in Haryana at 295, which were more polluted compared to Delhi's score of 284. The AQI scores are calculated at an average of past 24 hours.
The other places which reported poor air quality were Noida with a score of 283, Gurugram (279), Meerut (269), Greater Noida (266), Palwal (260), Rohtak (259), Patna (256) and Manesar at 252.
As per CPCB data, there are few places in the country, dominated by the south, with good air quality. Haldia with a AQI score of 20, Chikkaballapur 26, Ramanagara 27, Tirupati 31, Visakhapatnam 34, Shillong 35, Mysuru 40, Amaravati 41, Thiruvananthapuram 49, and Rajamahendravaram 49 were among the few places monitored for pollution that had good air quality on Thursday.
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