BENGALURU: Air quality has improved substantially this year with a 29.7% improvement between April and July compared to the corresponding period last year, says the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. However, noise levels in the city have shown only a marginal dip.
The first lockdown imposed from March 25, subsequent partial lockdowns, closure of schools and colleges and work from home for employees in both private and government offices have clearly contributed to the improvement in air quality.
Air quality monitoring is done by the Board at seven locations spread in the city using Continuous Air Quality Monitoring Stations: Veterinary College (Hebbal), Shalini Playground (Jayanagar), Kavika (Mysuru Road), Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (inside NIMHANS), Central Silk Board (Hosur Road), KSR railway station and S G Halli area.
Air Quality Index serves as a benchmark for assessing daily air quality, said a senior KSPCB official. “It produces values in the range 0 and 500. The higher the AQI, the greater the pollution. If the values range between 0 and 50, air quality is good and if it is between 51 and 100, it is moderate,” he said.
“The city has overall AQI value of 52, meaning ‘Satisfactory’, which is just one above the maximum level for the Good category. This means the quality has improved enormously,” the official said, adding, the city rarely shows such good air quality over a period of a few months.
Compared to 2019, a decrease of 7.3% in noise levels was seen at nine of 10 areas. Only the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, inside the NIMHANS campus, showed an increase of 3.7%. “The reason is an increase in vehicle movement and other activities after the Covid-19 Care Centre opened there. Only Church Street and BTM Layout showed double digit decrease in noise level percentages.