Published On : Tue, May 26th, 2020

Lockdown relaxation adds to pollution, says expert

Nagpur: With the lockdown 4.0 guidelines enforced, the Maharashtra Government doled out few more relaxations to the citizens. Though it brought the much needed escape for the Nagpurians, it has added to the pollution which had otherwise gone down to pleasantly low level, when complete lockdown was in place. In a recent observation, a data released by the State Pollution Control Board states that the pollution level has again started soaring after the complete lockdown phase got over.

It is likely to mention that, the air quality index in the city is measured based on eight parameters which include matters like PM 10, PM 2.5, SO2, NO2, CO, NH3, 03 and Pb. There is no major change observed in other parameters except PM 2.5 and PM 10. These two pollutants vary predominantly and thus change the pollution level in the city.

Speaking with Nagpur Today, Kaustav Chatterjee, the founder of Green Vigil Foundation said, “With the city opening up, the level of pollution has started surging. As the vehicular movement increased, the Air Quality Index (AQI) jumped in the range of 90 – 100 from 50-60 during the complete lockdown turning it from good to satisfactory.”

“As the lockdown gradually opens, the pace of the pollution will return to the level of pre-lockdown which was usually around 150-160 in the city. This will eventually increasing breathing discomfort for people with lungs condition such as asthma, and distress to people with heart disease, children and older adults. Also, at times, the city has witnessed pollution ranging above 200,” he further elaborated.

“The particulate matter mainly generate from industries, construction activities and vehicular movement. During the complete lockdown, these activities were entirely closed leading to plunged in pollution level but now when these activities have gradually started reopening, the pollution level has also made a surge,” said Chatterjee, who is also an environmentalist.

– Kajal Yadav