Chennai: Restrictions to control the COVID spread reduced the pollution level in Tamil Nadu as compared to the pre-Covid times. Though air quality is said to have improved this time in Chennai, figuratively it is less than what achieved during the national lockdown last year.
As per the release from the Central Pollution Control board on Wednesday evening, the Air Quality Index (AQI) at Alandur and Velachery Central Pollution Control Board stations on Wednesday (May 26) was respectively 47 and 73.
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 the 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."
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.