Air quality in Kolkata turns 'very poor'

Like Delhi, Kolkata seems to be facing air pollution problem. The air quality in Kolkata turned 'very poor' on Wednesday night with the pollution levels in the city breaching the 300 mark for the first time in recent months, a West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) official said on Thursday.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Kolkata was recorded at 343, which falls in the 'very poor' category; at the green zone Fort William automated air monitoring station at 11 pm, according to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) official. An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.

The Ballygunge air monitoring station in south Kolkata recorded an AQI of 330 at 11 pm local time, the official said. A 'poor' AQI means breathing discomfort for most people on prolonged exposure. "We are taking several steps to contain air pollution in Kolkata like sprinkling water at construction sites, stopping movement of over 15-year-old commercial vehicles in the cities of Kolkata and Howrah and banning coal-based ovens in roadside food stalls," the official said. "Let's hope the results will show in the coming days," he said.