CHENNAI: Chennai’s air quality on Deepavali day on Monday was the city’s worst in the last three years, even worse than Delhi. As per the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) ranged between 345 and 786 and was categorised as ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’—enough to cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
The data was based on 24-hour average AQI measured between 6am on October 24 and 6am on October 25. TNPCB authorities attributed the spike in pollution levels to indiscriminate bursting of firecrackers and high relative humidity and low wind speed. “The climatic conditions were not conducive for the effective dispersion of smoke emanating from firecracker burst. This contributed to the bad AQI value on Deepavali Day,” the TNPCB said.
Even at 6pm on Tuesday, a day after the festival, the city’s AQI was 227 which can cause breathing discomfort to most people. Almost all the continuous ambient air quality monitors in the city showed levels of PM 2.5, which is the most problematic pollutant, maxing out to 500 on Monday. The prescribed safe limit of PM 2.5 is 60ug/m3. In contrast, analysis of 33 monitors in Delhi showed that PM 2.5 level in the capital was lower than last year. The highest PM 2.5 levels recorded was 448.8 ug/m3 in Pusa, Delhi.
Sowcarpet records AQI level of 786, highest in Chennai
The TNPCB conducted manual monitoring in seven different locations Besant Nagar, T Nagar, Nungambakkam, Triplicane, Sowcarpet, Valasaravakkam and Thiruvottiyur. With AQI of 345, the lowest pollution levels were recorded in Besant Nagar which itself is considered very poor as per National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and highest AQI of 786 was recorded in Sowcarpet.
Anything in excess of 400 is considered severe. Meanwhile, the noise levels were comparatively similar to the last few years. The higher decibel levels of 79.7 dB(A) were recorded in Thiruvottiyur, while lowest 66 dB(A) was recorded in Besant Nagar.
The noise level standards (day/ night) are 55 and 45 dB(A) for residential areas and 65 and 55 dB(A) for commercial areas. In Puducherry, the air quality was equally bad. On Tuesday, the AQI was 294, which is close to very poor.
The air quality in Coimbatore was good. The AQI value was under 50. In Ooty, the AQI value was 57, which is satisfactory. Meanwhile, in Ramanathapuram, the AQI value was 196 and in Salem the AQI value was a moderate 181.
Woman dies in fire accident in Chennai
A 65-year-old woman injured in fire accident after a spark from a cracker triggered a blaze in her hut at Raja Shanmugam Nagar near Thiruvottiyur died of injuries at Kilpauk hospital