Hyderabad: State-imposed lockdown seems to have come as a blessing in disguise to Hyderabad, at least for the choking megalopolis, if not for its citizenry. Within a span of six days of going into the lockdown, the pollution levels have dropped considerably leaving the city’s skyline a bit placated. The lockdown which was imposed across the state on May 11 due to the second wave of Covid-19 has led to the reduction of air pollution.
Going by the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB’s) records, areas including Bolaram industrial development area (IDA), University of Hyderabad, Icrisat at Patancheru, IDA Pashamylaram and Sanathnagar, were all breathing easy since the lockdown was imposed. While the Air Quality Index (AQI) in these areas is usually a three-digit figure, the lockdown has resulted in the AQI improving.
“As a result of the lockdown, there is no artificial introduction of organic compounds into the air like carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur or its oxides, and nitrogen and its oxides. We have seen this phenomenon last year-during the first lockdown as well,” said a senior official in the Telangana State Pollution Control Board.
Last year, Hyderabad was one of the 17 cities out of the 102 cities across the world where the air quality was improved to be good. For a change, the major pollutants in the city’s air were ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter 10 (O3, NO2 and PM 10, respectively).
According to a paper published in the Environment Systems and Decisions magazine earlier this year, “A vehicle kilometre travelled (VKT)-related questionnaire -based study in Hyderabad revealed that with four per cent of the population utilising work-from-home facility during the transition to lockdown period, vehicular PM2.5 emission in Hyderabad reduced by 54 per cent compared to usual traffic emissions prior to Covid-19 lockdown. Furthermore, it was estimated that emission of up to 3,243, 777, 113, and 54 tonnes/year of CO, NOx, PM2.5, and SO2, respectively, could be avoided in Hyderabad.”...