The National Green Tribunal has slammed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and directed it to undertake serious and remedial measures against sugar mills causing intense air pollution. Moreover, traffic congestion and construction activities are deteriorating the air quality.
Uttar Pradesh quality index keeps on surging from unhealthy to hazardous levels. Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh is arguably the most polluted city because of PM 2.5 concentration persistently rising 3 to 4 times above the values as per WHO’s annual air quality guidelines. Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow along with Kanpur also consistently have crossed highest levels of air pollution in the country. Other cities like Meerut, Muzaffarnagar experience hazardous air quality specially during the colder period.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board during the Diwali festival 2021, air pollution in Firozabad recorded 489µg/m3, Agra recorded 472µg/m3, Vrindavan 454µg/m3, and Noida 426µg/m3. However, Uttar Pradesh has been awarded for maintaining cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in Swachh Survekshan for the year of 2021 .
Many in UP are seen with no masks as they might consider masks frivolous. Masks not only protect from viruses, bacteria or other diseases, but also from harmful air pollution as claimed by mask manufacturers. Today air pollution isn’t an important issue during the Uttar Pradesh elections and the government priorities are definitely somewhere away from air quality. Air pollution is a serious issue and more awareness as well as study will be needed to understand its effects on health and how to reduce it.
The quality of air affects the quality of life. A finding revealed an estimated 4127 deaths annually due to air pollution and diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and acute lower respiratory infection are associated with air pollution. The government of Uttar Pradesh will have to take more and more serious measures so that it can control air pollution because at this point the question is about the citizens of Uttar Pradesh and their health.