Air pollution drops across Telangana during lockdown

A painting depicting lockdown near Miyapur Crossroads in Hyderabad.

A painting depicting lockdown near Miyapur Crossroads in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

There is 13.5 % reduction in PM2.5, which has direct relation with vehicular and industrial pollution

At a time when N95 masks, said to be effective in filtering the air pollution, are seen dime a dozen on the streets, pollution in the air has come down drastically across the Telangana, with particular emphasis on the city.

Lockdown period has proved beneficial for the breathable air in the city, with considerable reduction in the particulate matter, say data recorded by the Telangana State Pollution Control Board. As per data from the ambient air quality monitors, between March 1 and the last week of April, there has been 13.5 per cent reduction in PM2.5, which has direct relation with the vehicular and industrial pollution.

During the same period, there is 30 per cent decrease in PM10, another parameter for air pollution. PM 2.5 refers to the concentration of fine particulate matter with diameter up to 2.5 micrometers, while PM 10 refers to the same with diameters up to 10 micrometers. Before lockdown, the density of the PM2.5 was measured as 37 micrograms per cubic meter, which has come down to 32 micrograms during lock down on a weekly average. The PM10 concentration has dropped to 63 micrograms per cubic metre from the earlier 89 micrograms.

“The PM10 concentration usually peaks during winter and summer, reaching up to 180 micrograms per cubic meters,” said D.Prasad, Scientific Officer from the Board. While the upper limit for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter, the same for PM10 is 100 micrograms, over and above which they pose imminent danger to public health.

There is drop of 31 per cent in the concentration of Oxides of Nitrogen, and 13 per cent in Ammonia, which are released into atmosphere following combustion in vehicle engines or industrial boilers.

Ozone in atmosphere, another parameter, has however, gone up by 21 per cent, which Dr.Prasad attributes to increase in temperatures.

“Oxides of Nitrogen are also released with the natural thunder activity, which might be converted to Ozone. It is difficult to make exact attributions, as thunderstorm far away too could result in increased parameters here, owing to air drift,” Dr.Prasad said.

PM10 concentration in several areas of Telangana too has come down during lockdown period, with the station in KUDA topping the charts with 67 per cent drop. The station at Godavarikhani, hub of coal mining, has recorded more than 51 per cent drop.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 3:47:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/air-pollution-drops-across-telangana-during-lockdown/article31505248.ece

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