Pollution level down; Kerala breathes easy

Though it was enforced to prevent a community spread of the dreaded Covid-19, the nationwide lockdown has come as a blessing in disguise for the environment.

Published: 02nd April 2020 07:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2020 07:05 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: Though it was enforced to prevent a community spread of the dreaded Covid-19, the nationwide lockdown has come as a blessing in disguise for the environment. To begin with, the decrease in vehicular traffic, construction activities, functioning of industries and burning of garbage has led to a significant improvement in the air pollution levels.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the improvement of air quality at the Vyttila region in Ernakulam, which used to consistently record the highest pollution levels in the state, is a healthy sign. While the AQI of Vyttila was 113 on January 30, it improved to 63 on March 28 and 40 on March 31. Meanwhile, the AQI of Kozhikode, which stood at 76 on January 30, improved to 56 on March 28 and 53 on Tuesday. Similarly in Thiruvananthapuram, the AQI improved from 90 on January 30 to 40 on March 26 and 49 on Tuesday. The state’s average air quality index (AQI) value now stands at around 50, as per the CPCB report.

Animals reclaim land

Meanwhile, more and more elephant herds and wild gaur are being spotted on the Athirappilly-Malakkappara Road, Wayanad ghat road, Mamalakkandam in Idukki and many other forest fringe areas. However, there has also been no marked increase in the incidents of man-animal conflict. “In the last few days, we haven’t received any complaint regarding destruction of crops by wild animals,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar. “In the Athirappally-Malakkappara Road, which passes through a core forest area, the presence of wild animals has increased. This is because of the decrease in vehicular traffic. Decline in human intervention has allowed the animals to roam free on their lands,” said Vazhachal DFO S V Vinod. 

PTR
At Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Thekkady, the absence of tourists and boat services have come as a relief to the wild animals, which have started coming out in large numbers 



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