Where’s Taj? Thick smog envelopes mausoleum

Visitors to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, were left disappointed on Sunday as the Mughal-era monument disappeared behind a thick haze of pollutants. Post-Diwali festivities, Agra’s AQI (air quality index) remained in the ‘severe’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Taj Mahal enveloped in smoky haze in Agra, as the overall air quality in the city remains in ‘severe’ category as per Central Pollution Control Board

We had come here to click pictures of Taj Mahal but due to air pollution its not clearly visible from far, says a visitor to Agra pic.twitter.com/M1KtDopGxg

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 7, 2021

As of Sunday, 2pm, four stations in Agra — Manoharpur, Sanjay Palace, Sector 3B – Avas Vikas Colony and Shahjahan Garden — recorded an AQI between 405 to 427, with PM2.5 levels rising to the ‘severe’ category. Whereas, the Shastripuram station recorded an AQI of 399 (‘very poor’ category).

The city has also witnessed a rise in the number of people suffering from respiratory issues, news agency PTI reported on Saturday and has been enveloped in a dense layer of smog since November 4.

Apart from Agra, several cities in Uttar Pradesh such as Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad remained in the ‘severe’ air pollution category on Saturday.

The air pollution worsened across the country due to burning of firecrackers on Diwali, as well as increased movement of vehicles and stubble burning. The air quality in Delhi, which reached its worst since 2016 a day after Diwali, is predicted to improve and reach the upper end of the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday, after having remained in the ‘severe’ category for two consecutive days, according to the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi.

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