Amid intensifying winters and levels of air pollution in the state, Uttar Pradesh's air quality stands compromised, posing a host of health risks across. Reportedly, UP's highest AQI value of the day was recorded in the Unnao district, at 424 'hazardous' units, followed by Pitampura at AQI 341, Ghaziabad 308. Besides them, Deoli and Kanpur at AQI 304 ranked as the fourth and fifth worst affected cities in the state. Citizens in all these cities are at high risk due to the toxic air causing breathing and visibility issues.
Poor visibility shrouds Kanpur city as AQI rises
Going by the stats of the AQI monitoring systems, Kanpur ranks as the fifth most polluted city in Uttar Pradesh, when it comes to contaminated air. The impact of this is pronounced every morning when the distirct is shrouded by a blanket of smog, which does not dissipate as the day rises. While the sky is usually clear through the day, visibility is hampered once again here with the nightfall.
Meanwhile, AQI monitoring stations in Kanpur highlight that air quality is most harmful during the early hours of the day, which is coincidentally the time when students head out to school. This makes the young lot the most susceptible to breathing problems, against the backdrop of COVID-19, Zika virus and seasonal flu rise.
All school administrations are accordindgly advised to make proper arrangements to prevent the impact of air pollution on student health. For this, the installation of air purifiers in each class and the mask imperative should be pressed in all schools. Classrooms window should be curtained well, to ensure proper ventilation without pollutant influx.
The impact of rising AQI across UP
Similar effects have also been noted in other cities, ranked over Kanpur in the state's worst-AQI index. In addition to the concerns of smog and poor visibility, people have also complained about difficulties in breathing and severe cough on prolonged outdoor exposure. "I take a morning walk every day for about 30 minutes, but today I returned in about 10 minutes only because I could feel irritation in my eyes and throat.", said Alok Kumar, a resident from Ghaziabad.
People living in AQI compromised cities should get their vehicles checked for pollution (PUC Certificate) and must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces. Elderly and young kids are advised to stay indoors to avoid inhaling the unhealthy air.