Thanks to Deepawali, Chennai chokes as AQI hits hazardous levels

Visibility reduced to under 50 meters after 7-8 pm on Thursday. Ambient noise levels ranged from 69 to 79 dB(A), which were marginally higher than last year. 

Published: 06th November 2021 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th November 2021 05:28 AM   |  A+A-

Air pollution, factory

Image for representational purpose.

Express News Service

CHENNAI: On Thursday night owing to Deepavali celebrations, the city witnessed ‘severe’ pollution levels. The air quality in Chennai on Friday remained worrisome with several monitoring stations highlighting ‘hazardous’ levels of pollution and calling for emergency measures. 

Though the State government had issued an advisory allowing the bursting of green crackers only between 6 am to 7 am and 7 pm to 8 pm on Deepavali, Chennai residents paid no heed to it. The city was engulfed in a thick blanket of toxic smog from Thursday evening until the early hours of Friday.

Visibility reduced to under 50 meters after 7-8 pm on Thursday. Ambient noise levels ranged from 69 to 79 dB(A), which were marginally higher than last year.  According to data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), all seven Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations in Chennai clocked Air Quality Index (AQI) close to 500, which is the maximum the monitor can record. Chennai recorded an average AQI of almost 154 throughout Thursday and was moderate on Friday.

Meanwhile in Tiruchy, the air quality remained in satisfactory levels, though motorists reported having a tough commute due to the thick blanket of smog. In Coimbatore too, the AQI was high even on Friday, standing at 164 in SIDCO Kurichi. 

In Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) conducted an Ambient Air Quality survey using manual monitoring in five locations – Besant Nagar, T Nagar, Nungambakkam, Triplicane and Sowcarpet –  which revealed a substantial increase in PM2.5 and PM10 as compared to last year. 

T Nagar’s air quality worst on Deepavali day

PM10 ranged from 187 to 283 micrograms per cubic meter during Deepavali against the prescribed standard of 100, while PM2.5 ranged from 175 to 257 micrograms per cubic meter against the permissible 60. “The PM values are above National Ambient Air Standards and the AQI was found to be ‘very poor’,” said a TNPCB release.

Officials say the rise in air pollution and AQI is due to high humidity (90 per cent and above) and bursting of crackers during the permitted time. “The rise in pollution and smog on Thursday was due to the lack of wind. As people continued to burst crackers, these pollutants, with no wind, couldn’t disperse easily,” said N Puviarasan, Director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre at Regional Meteorological Centre.

After winds set in at night, the pollution dispersed and the sky was clear on Friday, he added. T Nagar recorded the highest AQI of 385, followed by Triplicane (378), Sowcarpet (371), and Nungambakkam (369).

New low pressure area brewing in Bay
Chennai: A new low pressure area is likely to form over southeast Bay of Bengal around November 9, triggering heavy rainfall in several parts of TN. The regional meteorological centre has issued warnings to Nilgiris, Erode, Salem, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, and others for the next two days 

Two die in country cracker blast
A 36-year-old man and his seven-year-old son were killed after the country crackers they were carrying on a two-wheeler exploded in Puducherry on Friday. Three others were also injured. The deceased were identified as V Kalainesan of Kakaiyanthopu village and his son Pradeesh. Police offcials suspect the crackers exploded due to friction 


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