Want to know the pollution level in your city? Concerned about what are the prominent pollutants in your area? The newly-launched air quality index will monitor real time air pollution data in your city, giving latest information up to the last hour at the time of checking.
The Air Quality Index launched by the Indian government on Monday collects real-time data in 10 cities in eight states. These include Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Delhi, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Faridabad in Haryana, Bengaluru in Karnataka, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, and four cities in Uttar Pradesh — Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Varanasi. This is expected to expand further to other cities later.
How To Check Pollution Levels
Using the tool is easy enough. The Central Pollution Control Board website links out to the index which you can access here. Choose a state and city; some cities have multiple pollution checking centres as well.
What's important to watch out for the "prominent pollutant" and air quality index count. The lower this count is, the safer it is. It's usually computed as the average of prevalence on the worst polluting particle in the city, and can range from 1-500.
When HuffPost India monitored the changing air quality through Tuesday, Bengaluru continued to maintain a low count at 38, which is a good air quality level. Interestingly, Varanasi in UP appeared to the worst at 181.
Pollutants mainly included fine particulate matters, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone gas, and nitrogen dioxide.
Though the initiative taken by the Indian government is a welcome one, the tool is already fraught with errors and loopholes. While you can check Hyderabad's pollution levels by going through the Andhra Pradesh option, it is unable to show data for the same city via Telangana.
At the time of monitoring, HuffPost India was unable to check the air quality index for several of the cities because of "insufficient data". Data was also missing for some pollutants and for several intervening periods of time. These can be seen in grey in the image below.