BHUBANESWAR: Air quality in Bhubaneswar improved significantly with a 60 per cent drop in presence of particulate matter in the first 10 days of national lockdown. This was revealed in the air quality report released by Odisha State Pollution Control Board for the period between March 21 and 31.
During this period, air quality of important cities, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Jharsuguda, Angul, Talcher, Balasore, Kalinga Nagar and Rourkela was monitored. With suspension of transport and construction activities, the air turned cleaner in all these cities. The tiniest and deadliest particles in the air, PM 2.5, which are mostly generated due to combustion and increase likelihood of respiratory diseases, fell from 32 microgram per cubic metre to 12 in the City.
The slightly bigger particles with diameter less than 10 micrometre or PM10 were reduced from 103 microgram per cubic metre to 41, taking City’s air quality index value from ‘moderate’ category to ‘good.’ As per the categorisation of the air quality index value of OSPCB, ‘moderate’ air can have an impact on health of people with respiratory and heart diseases.
The amount of nitrogen dioxide gas plummeted below the detectable limit from 16.6 microgram per cubic metre (under normal period.)Similarly, PM10 decreased by 36 per cent while PM 2.5 dropped from 43 microgram per cubic metre to 28 in Cuttack. The impact of lockdown on air quality for April is yet to be ascertained by OSPCB.
"We have not studied the impact on water bodies. It is still under process. But there will be no significant change in the pollution levels of water bodies in Odisha. The water bodies in Odisha are not polluted because of industrial waste but due to the discharge of untreated urban waste. However, there can be slight improvement," said Member Secretary of OSPCB, Devidutta Biswal.