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Kolkata’s air quality turns poor in fog conditions

Air quality turned poor across Kolkata on a foggy day on Friday as particulate matters hung in the air, an official of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) said.

In the northern parts of the city, air quality was categorised as very poor as wintry conditions prevailed preventing the dust particles from dispersing.

The official said that in the automated air monitoring station at Rabindra Bharati University in a congested north Kolkata area, the air quality index (AQI) read 308 PM 2.5 at 1 pm.

“This is classified as very poor in environmental terms which may cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure,” the official said.

In the rest of the city, the AQI stood at 263 PM 2.5 at the automated air monitoring station at Ballygunge, 277 at Jadavpur, 209 at Rabindra Sarobar, 255 at Victoria Memorial, 247 at Fort William, 211 at Bidhan Nagar, the official said.

AQI from 201 to 300 is considered poor and from 301 to 400 as very poor.

“The fog and smoke from vehicles, open-air burning of tree logs and waste during winter and smoke from coal-fired chulhas — all contributed to this poor and very poor air quality level in the city,” environmentalist and green activist S M Ghosh said.

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