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The Indian Express
November 7, 2021 at 8:00:00 PM
Where’s Taj? Thick smog envelopes mausoleum

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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).

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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