Hyderabad: After the monsoon cleared up the air a bit, the city’s air quality has begun deteriorating once again with the onset of winter.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in several parts is shifting categories from ‘Good’ to ‘Moderate’ category. Data with the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) shows that the air quality in different monitoring stations started to change drastically since the monsoon retreated.
According to TSPCB, AQI levels (0-50) are indexed under ‘Good’ category, (51-100) ‘Satisfactory’, (101-200) ‘Moderate’, (201-300) ‘Poor’, (301-400) ‘Very poor’, and (Above 400) ‘Severe’.
The AQI levels in HCU, which were at 40 in September, increased by over three times and settled at 126 by November. In areas such as Uppal, MGBS, Abids and Charminar, where vehicular movement is high, the AQI levels shot up consistently in the last three months.
The data suggests that air quality has dipped even in residential areas across the city. In Kukatpally and Jubilee Hills, the numbers have gone up from 73 to 121 and 79 to 112, respectively, during September and November.
According to environmentalists, the air quality drops considerably during winters as cold weather when coupled with fog block and hold in the atmosphere the pollutants coming from vehicles, industries and construction.
WG Prasanna Kumar, an environmental expert, said there would not be much movement in the air, while dust particles and pollutants in the air do not get dispersed easily. “This increases air pollution in the winter and will be the same till January,” he said.
Ironically, the Nehru Zoological Park, which was in the ‘Good’ category in monsoon, has slipped to the ‘Poor’ category. The AQI levels during the last three months in this locality have gone up from 52 to 203, while in Sanathnagar, it went up from 51 to 188. They are likely to increase further in December and January, officials say.
In Balanagar, surrounded by several industries, the AQI levels have gone up from 85 in September to 143 in November. Similar is the case with Jeedimetla, where the air quality numbers rose from 87 to 123 in the last three months.
PCB officials say such rise is normal in winters when temperatures gradually dip from October to January. Meanwhile, the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) too has witnessed a rise in levels. In Sanathnagar, the AAQ levels have gone up from 6.1 in August to 10 in November, while Jubilee Hills saw it going up from 4.8 to 5.6 during the same period.