CHENNAI: Chennai air pollution has aggravated on the day of Bhogi festival as hundreds were seen lighting bonfires leading to smog-like situation in the morning hours. Even at 5 pm on Saturday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was 147, enough to cause breathing discomfort to the people with respiratory ailments and heat diseases. This is the 7th day in a row where the city’s AQI logged above 100 under unfavourable weather conditions.
Out of eight Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Systems, AQI value in seven stations was moderate (100-200), while in Alandur it was poor (201-300).If you consider the peak pollution levels, the monitoring stations in Manali, Alandur, Royapuram and Gandhi Nagar in Ennore showed PM 2.5 concentration spiking as high as 500 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre), which is extremely hazardous.
Not just in Chennai, the air pollution was a concern even in other parts of the state. The neighboring Chengalpattu district recorded ‘poor’ air quality with AQI increasing to 217. The AQI in Gummidipoondi and Dindigul breached 200. At 5 pm, the two places recorded an AQI of 213 and 202 respectively.TNPCB chairman M Jayanti told TNIE 30 monitoring teams were deployed, who worked tirelessly from 10.15 pm on January 13 to 5.30 am on January 14, putting off hundreds of bonfires.