COVID-19 | Lock down leads to lesser pollution in Hyderabad

With vehicles staying off the road and factories shut, chemical pollution in the city has dipped considerably.

With vehicles staying off the road and factories shut, chemical pollution in the city has dipped considerably.   | Photo Credit: G. RAMAKRISHNA

Current pollution values are way below Air Quality Index standards

A clearer and blue sky has been greeting citizens of Hyderabad over the past few days as the emergency lockdown due to COVID-19 is being enforced with rigour.

Perhaps for the first time in years, the pollution values observed in the five weather monitoring stations in the city were way below the Air Quality Index standards set by the government of India. As vehicles stayed off the road and workshops and factories were shut down, chemical pollution in the form of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone also showed low values.

The respirable suspended particulate matter pollution too dipped below the standard values. On Tuesday afternoon at the Bahadurpura monitoring station, the PM2.5 was 41.06 ug/m3 way below the standard 60 ug/m3 which was the value observed in March 2019. Sulphur dioxide, a major pollutant and byproduct of diesel combustion, was recorded at 1.86 ug/m3; way below the standard of 40 ug/m3.

A similar dip was noticed in the levels of ozone which was recorded at 28.41 ug/m3 much below the standard of 80, and was 33.2 ug/m3 for the same period in 2019.

At the Patancheru monitoring station, a similar dip in pollution is being noticed. The PM2.5 value is nearly half the standard at 30 ug/m3. NO2 levels dipped to 3.5 as against the standard of 80 and last year’s average in March of 27.2. However, sulphur dioxide levels remained elevated at 11.2 ug/m3 as against 9.6 ug/m3 in March 2019 and the standard of 40 ug/m3.

Ozone is 19 ug/m3 against the standard of 180ug/m3 and last year’s level of 27.2 ug/m3.

“With a drop in the pollution level due to the lockdown, it was amazing to finally see some stars in the sky tonight, especially the Orion Belt with its three stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka,” tweeted Mohammad Habib with photos as evidence.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 12:31:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/covid-19-lock-down-leads-to-lesser-pollution-in-hyderabad/article31156951.ece

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