Stringent lockdown measures bring down pollution level in Chennai

Chennai under lockdown
The air quality in the city has also improved when compared to the pre-Covid days of 2019 May. Image courtesy: IANS

Chennai: The Pollution levels in Chennai have come down as the vehicles are not out on roads following stringent lockdown measures. The air quality in the city has also improved when compared to the pre-Covid days of 2019 May, but less than the May 2020 period when there was a national lockdown.

The Air quality Index (AQI) at Alandur and Velachery Central Pollution Control Board stations on Wednesday (May 26) was respectively 47 and 73, a release from the Central Pollution Control board on Wednesday evening said. Air Quality Index is calculated based on the average concentrations of pollutants like Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ammonia(NH3), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide(CO), Ozone, PM10 and PM 25 measured over a standard time interval.

An AQI below 50 is considered good while 50-100 is satisfactory which may lead to minor breathing problems for some people. AQI between 101 to 200 is moderate with breathing comfort likely among people with asthma, lungs and heart diseases. However the range of AQI from 201 to 300 is considered poor with breathing discomfort to most people.

Chairman of TN state pollution control board, A.V. Venkatachalam while speaking to IANS said, "Vehicular traffic accounts for 27 per cent of the total emission levels and with the government strictly enforcing the lockdown rules, movement of vehicles has come down leading to the increase in air quality in city limits."

Residents of Chennai city are also of the opinion that there is a healthy feeling in the atmosphere after the lockdown was implemented. Manonmani G., a housewife at Anna Nagar (East) while speaking to IANS said, "I am an asthma patient and can easily understand the difference in air quality. After the lockdown was implemented and vehicles stopped plying, the quality of air has improved and people like us can understand it as we feel it."

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