Bhogi revellers make city air smoggy; flights not affected

The southern part of the city recorded an AQI of 190 at the same time on Friday. Meanwhile, Arumbakkam and Ennore recorded an AQI of 143 and 156 respectively on the day.
Smog engulfed city roads due to Bhogi celebration on Saturday morning
Smog engulfed city roads due to Bhogi celebration on Saturday morning

CHENNAI: Despite the State government requesting the public to celebrate smoke-free Bhogi, all the monitoring stations in the city recorded a slight increase in the air quality index, on Saturday, suggesting pollution due to the burning of old household items, which is a part of Bhogi celebration in the State.

Early morning burning of items combined with fog caused throat and eye irritation in some places. According to air quality index (AQI) data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index was 202 in Alandur at 2 pm on Saturday which is categorised as a poor level.

The southern part of the city recorded an AQI of 190 at the same time on Friday. Meanwhile, Arumbakkam and Ennore recorded an AQI of 143 and 156 respectively on the day. The previous day’s AQI in the localities were 100 and 86. Kodungaiyur, Manali and Perungudi recorded AQI of 165, 147 and 130. On Friday, those areas recorded an AQI of 106, 98 and 111. Royapuram and Velachery recorded 117 and 114 AQI.

It may be noted that the AQI during Deepavali crossed 500 in several parts of the city causing higher air pollution than in Delhi. “I felt irritation in the throat at around 6 am and could not sleep further. When I woke up, the house was filled with smoke. As I have an infant son, I had to shut down all the windows of my house for several hours. More awareness should be created by the government to make people understand air pollution,” M Vishnupriya of Kodambakkam said.

On the other hand, some private smartphone applications showed an air quality index of more than 500 in several parts of the city. However, there was no disruption in the flight operations on the day of Bhogi with a moderate Air Quality Index ensuring reasonably good visibility. “Due to low humidity, moderate temperature and moderate wind speed ensured the visibility,” V Meyyanathan, Minister of Environment and Climate Change said in a statement.

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