Air pollution goes up again in Hyderabad

As vehicles return on the roads after lockdown, air pollution records a sharp increase

By Author  |  Published: 25th May 2020  12:12 amUpdated: 25th May 2020  12:44 am
Air pollution
As per the TSPCB, the HCU monitoring point recorded a sharp rise in PM 2.5 and PM10 levels this week. — Photo: Anand Dharmana

Hyderabad: Pollution levels in the city which nosedived during the days when complete lockdown was in force, have started to climb up on the monitoring charts following relaxations offered in the lockdown.

The return of vehicles on the city roads, though not in high volume as in regular times, had different pollution parameters starting to show a rise. When the complete lockdown was imposed in the State on March 23, city witnessed significant improvement in air quality as vehicles stayed off the road, most industrial units did not function and construction activities too came to a standstill.

However, starting from May 18, the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) in several parts of the city including Hyderabad Central University, Sanathnagar, Zoo Park and IDA Pashamylaram started to show a jump in air pollutants, according to Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB).

As per the data available with TSPCB, the HCU monitoring point recorded a sharp rise in PM 2.5 and PM10 levels this week. If the 24 hour average PM 2.5 levels on April 21 was 12.38, it shot up to 35.44 on May 20 while PM 10 rose from 31.72 to 127.05 during the same period.

The situation was similar in Sanathnagar where the PM 2.5 levels on April 21 were 27.14 but went up to 49.09 while NOX shot up from 8.77 to 20.97 and NO2 from 6.87 to 35.0. At present, city has nearly 60 lakh vehicles, most of them two wheelers and four wheelers. The high number of vehicles on the city roads is often seen as contributing highly to the pollution load.

The pollution levels are likely to go up more once the employees who have been working from home since day 1 of lockdown return to their workplaces, apart from the RTC city bus fleet coming back to the roads.

Air pollution

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