Air quality improves in Hyderabad

Wed 10 Jul 2019, 11:38:39
The monsoon might not have brought as much as rains as expected, but apart from offering some relief from scorching temperatures, it has brought down air pollution in the city, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) values dipping to settle in the ‘Satisfactory’ category.

Figures with the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) between January and June show that the AQI in most of the parts were in the ‘Satisfactory’ category with the fine particulate matter level registering below 100 while a couple of areas were in the ‘Moderate’ category between 100 and 150.

According to TSPCB, AQI levels (0-50) were indexed under ‘Good’ category, (51-100) under ‘Satisfactory’, (101-200) under ‘Moderate’, (201-300) under ‘Poor’, (301-400) under ‘Very poor’, and (Above 400) under ‘Severe’ category.

The key industrial hub of the city, Sanathnagar, which had an AQI value of 211 in January and indexed as ‘Poor’ with risks of breathing discomforts for many, has an AQI value of 52 in June.

Same is the case with the Zoo Park, where the AQI was 234 in January, the highest in the city. The area has witnessed significant improvement in the AQI, which has been pegged at 66 in June. Both Sanathnagar and Zoo Park are always considered highly polluted zones, given the large presence of industries in the area.

The various monitoring stations installed across the city by the TSPCB indicate that AQI has improved in the last six months. Areas such as Uppal, Jubilee Hills and Charminar have improved with index changing from ‘Moderate’ to ‘Satisfactory’ category. Areas where traffic snarls were frequent, like MGBS, Kukatpally and Madhapur, too have witnessed an improvement in air quality.

PCB officials attribute the drop in air pollution to the onset of monsoon as pollutants get washed out following rains and wind.

“During June and September, there is a considerable improvement in the air pollution as rains clear the pollutants present in the air especially the particulate matter. Later, air pollution slightly increases in winter,” a senior TSPCB official said.

Besides AQI, parameters monitored for Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) too witnessed a drop. The data of SO2 levels in the six months shows it has come down from 9.7 to 2.1 at HCU, 3.0 to 1.8 at Zoo Park and 11.9 to 7.8 at Sanathnagar.

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