Air Quality in Chennai worsens; almost equal to Delhi

At 5.30 pm on Friday, the AQI in Alandur here recorded by the Air Quality Management station set up by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was 245, which is categorised as “very unhealthy”.  (PTI File Photo)

The quality of air in this metropolis deteriorated further on Friday with air quality index (AQI) touching 245, almost equal to the levels in Delhi. 

At 5.30 pm on Friday, the AQI in Alandur here recorded by the Air Quality Management station set up by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was 245, which is categorised as “very unhealthy”.  AQI level of 245 was almost equal to what was recorded in New Delhi.

Ideally, the AQI (particulate matter 2.5) should be below 50, the quality of air is considered moderate if it is anywhere between 51 to 100, unhealthy for sensitive groups between 101 to 150 and unhealthy between 151 to 200. It is considered very unhealthy from 201 to 300 and hazardous from 301 to 500.

The quality of air in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu have been plummeting to “unhealthy” and “very unhealthy” levels since Sunday with independent weather bloggers attributing it to polluted air travelling from north India through the East Coast.

Though the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) says the polluted air cannot travel from North India, the bloggers, pointing to satellite images, say there is a clear movement of wind from the north which reaches the South through the coast.

“There is local pollution too and there is no denying of that fact. But there is movement of winds from North India too. The Chennai’s AQI usually hovers between 100 and 120. But I have never seen it crossing 150 and reaching 245. There is evidence to suggest that the haze is partly due to polluted winds from North reaching here,” weather blogger K Srikanth told DH.

Srikanth, one of the prime movers behind Chennai Rains Twitter handle which has more than 1 lakh followers, says the scenario in Chennai could change once the easterly winds come back to the coast after Cyclone Bulbul withdraws in the next few days.

Residents of this metropolis have been complaining of breathing issues and irritation since Monday when the AQI began dropping to low levels.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)