Chennai breathed cleaner air this Bhogi

PM2.5 was within the 52-102 microgram/cubic metre vary, as in opposition to prescribed 60 microgram/cubic metre

Despite smoke within the ambient air, it was much less in comparison with the earlier years as Bhogi and Lohri had been celebrated within the metropolis. Bonfires had been lit in a number of residential areas, with youngsters taking part in drums and singing songs, early within the morning, when a spike was seen within the ranges of particulate matter throughout town.

According to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, particulate matter (PM2.5) ranges had been within the vary of 52-102 microgram/cubic metre, as in opposition to the prescribed customary of 60 microgram/cubic metre, and PM10 was within the vary of 103-256 microgram/cubic metre as in opposition to the prescribed customary of 100 microgram/cubic metre.

The TNPCB monitored air pollution ranges within the ambient air, each earlier than and through Bhogi, at 15 places, together with Tiruvottiyur, Sholinganallur, Besant Nagar, Anna Nagar and Ambattur. Stations in Tondiarpet recorded 256 microgram/cubic metre of PM10, Ambattur recorded 183 microgram/cubic metre and Thiru Vi Ka Nagar 173 microgram/cubic metre.

Chintadripet resident Murugan mentioned individuals burnt rubbish, however didn’t use discarded tyres or plastics to mild bonfires. “They burnt leaves, garden waste, old mats and clothes. Our street was full of bonfires and the community came together to celebrate,” he mentioned.

Amandeep, a resident of Royapettah, mentioned his household lit a easy bonfire, within the night, since they didn’t need to discontinue the age-old apply of burning outdated issues on Lohri.

“Families would burn so many old clothes earlier. But now we have brought that down to just one small piece of cloth and a few twigs,” he mentioned.

TNPCB chairman A.V. Venkatachalam mentioned throughout joint night time patrol by officers of the board, together with employees from the Greater Chennai Corporation and the police, over 2.6 tonnes of waste tyres, stored for burning, had been seized and despatched to the frequent hazardous waste administration facility in Gummidipoondi. He added that the airport authorities had knowledgeable them that some flights had been delayed because of the smog.

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Asked why some locations had extra smog than some densely-populated residential localities, S.M. Shiva Nagendra, professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Madras, cited air circulation. “It varies from place to place. A dense building arrangement will be warmer and an open space cooler, which is why hot air is filling up open spaces like roads and grounds,” he mentioned.

On whether or not the variety of monitoring stations was sufficient for such a big State, Sarath Guttikunda, founder-director, Urban Emissions, mentioned: “Monitoring can tell us how much, where and when the pollution is. However, increasing the number of monitoring stations does not counter the pollution problem, even though, sadly, in all management plans, monitoring is presented as a solution to pollution. For all practical purposes, 15 stations are still not enough for Tamil Nadu; our estimate is 255, using CPCB’s thumb rule.” Perhaps extra stations will likely be added within the coming years, he added.

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