Even as winter is yet to set foot in the state, the air quality in Kolkata’s twin city of Howrah has been ‘poor’ in the past few days, leaving the citizens gasping for breath.

Even though the air quality was good, satisfactory or moderate between 10 to 13 November, due to the after effects of the cyclone Bulbul, the ambient air quality from 14 November has constantly remained ‘poor’ or ‘very poor,’ till today.

However, in the last three days, the air has remained foul constantly and the quality has been observed to be ‘very poor’ since Tuesday.

The PM10 level crossed the 300 mark yesterday, reaching as high as 327 today. While concentration of the finer particulate matter of 2.5 micrometre remained above 100 in the last four days.

Notably, although the ambient air quality in Kolkata has not been good in the past few days. it is better as compared to Howrah.

The city’s air quality was ‘moderate’ on Sunday, while it has remained ‘poor’ over the last four days, against ‘very poor’ condition prevailing in Howrah for the last three days.

The PM10 level in Kolkata reached a high of 227 in the last five days. The PM2.5 level registered a maximum of 113 during the same period.

One of the major contributors of worsening air quality in Howrah, according to an official of the state pollution control board, is indiscriminate burning of waste. “We have received complains of waste burning at various places in the district and action will be taken accordingly,” said the official.

“Apart from other factors, indiscriminate waste burning is one of the main contributors to pollution. Burning of small quantities of waste in random manner by individuals worsens the air quality at the lower level significantly,” he added.