Hyderabad: Dry heat accompanied with hot winds during summer season in Hyderabad is quite tough to tolerate. However, on the brighter side, summer also offers relief in the form of less air pollution levels in the State’s capital. Compared to the months during winter, pollution levels across the city during this summer have registered a drop in the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels, which now have settled in the ‘satisfactory’ or ‘moderate’ category.
The data with Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) from last November to first week of April indicates that AQI in most parts of Hyderabad is within satisfactory limits. By and large, the fine particulate matter level across Hyderabad has stayed below 100 while in a few areas it has settled in moderate category i.e. between 100 and 150.
According to TSPCB, the AQI between 0-50 is considered Good, 51-100 is Satisfactory, 101-200 is Moderate, 201-300 is Poor, 301-400 Very Poor and 401-500 is considered as Severe.
The monitoring stations installed by Telangana State Pollution Control Board under several initiatives including National Air Monitoring Programme, State Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme and Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations, have witnessed the graph of AQI coming down gradually across the capital in the last three months.
In January, the Air Quality Index level at Sanathnagar, one of the key industrial areas in the city was 211, which falls under the category of unhealthy, signifying serious health effects to the community. However, with the onset of summer, the AQI levels at Sanathnagar improved to 69 (as on April 8), which is moderate, signifying and acceptable air quality.
Similarly, the Air Quality Index levels at Nehru Zoological Park during last December was 216 and it steadily dropped to 103 by April first week. Both Sanathanagar and zoo park are traditionally considered as highly polluted zones in the city. However, decline in air pollution levels has brought much needed respite to public during the summer.
Few parts of the city such as Hyderabad Central University (HCU), Uppal, Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) and Madhapur too witnessed improvement in air quality.
TSPCB official attributed that drop in pollution levels to climate variation. “Usually Air Quality Index levels increase sharply in winter season as the cold weather combined with fog, block pollutants from vehicles, industries and construction activities. As winter fades, pollution levels start to drop,” a senior PCB official said.
Thanks to the intermittent showers that the city recorded, pollutants in the air got washed away specially the particulate matter, the official said and added that AQI level would remain normal till arrival of monsoon.