On Tuesday, awareness campaigns highlighting the need to refrain from burning garbage or other items will be held in all 10 zones of Chennai Corporation by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The campaigns will go on till early Wednesday, ahead of the Bhogi festival.
Launching the campaign here on Monday, Minister for Environment T.P.M. Mohideen Khan urged residents to cooperate.
“Over the years, the [air] pollution levels [during Bhogi] have come down. Last year, the TNPCB’s ambient air quality monitoring system in nine locations showed that on an average there has been a reduction of total suspended particulate matter by 21 per cent as compared to the previous year,” he said.
Emphasising that it was not enough, he said: “We have to strive to bring it down further.” During the campaign, pamphlets and handbills highlighting the ill-effects of burning tyres or plastic waste will be distributed.
TNPCB would also conduct ambient air quality monitoring in Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Besant Nagar, Triplicane, T. Nagar, Vyasarpadi, Vallalar Nagar, Royapuram and Mandaveli a few days before and after Bhogi, its officials said.
Mayor M. Subramanian, who also spoke on the occasion, said it was important to refrain from burning waste on Bhogi day, as the practice might cause allergies to the eyes, nose and skin. “Moreover, global warming is something that is threatening the earth. It is important we take all precautions to preserve our environment,” he said.
The Corporation has also sent awareness messages to the heads of all its schools to be conveyed to the students. “The messages will be read out during the morning assembly and will reach nearly five lakh students,” he said.