Bengaluru: The partial lockdown of Bengaluru due to the COVID-19 scare has resulted in cleaner air over the city. The air quality index (AQI) in traffic-heavy areas like Silk Board, BTM and railway station has improved to ‘satisfactory’ levels.
Under real-time monitoring by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI reading at Silk Board went down from 111 on March 8 to 90 on March 20.
Out of the 10 air monitoring stations operated by the CPCB, the City Railway Station is the only one that has shown a moderate pollutant range of 148.
At BTM Layout, where there are many paying guest accommodations and huge traffic snarls due to the ongoing metro construction work, the AQI read only 54 on March 20.
A scientific officer of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) said, “Transportation is a major contributor to bad air quality. More than 40 percent of the air pollution is due to this sector in Bengaluru.”
Air quality readout in the range of 0-50 is deemed satisfactory with minimal impact on health; a level of 51-100 is deemed satisfactory but may cause minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people; AQI 101-200 is moderate with health implications such as breathing discomfort to the people with lungs, asthma and heart diseases; 201-300 is poor, which may cause breathing discomfort in people with prolonged illnesses; 301-400 is very poor and may result in respiratory illness on prolonged exposure, and 401-500 is severe that may affect healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.