Chennai: After persistently recording the most harmful air quality among southern states, as per data available on the Central Pollution Board’s website, Chennai Revenue Disaster Management minister RB Ushyankunar Monday hastened to clarify that pollution levels are poor in only “one or two places”.
Citing a report released by the state pollution control board, Ushyankunar told reporters that the situation was “far from alarming” and that necessary measures have been taken to mitigate the impact of pollution.
Tyre, garbage burning has been banned in Chennai, with punitive measures for violators, he said.
Instructions have been given to the state transport department to crack down on emission violators, the minister added.
According to him, the depression powering cyclone ‘Bulbul’ in Eastern India has resulted in a cloud to descend upon Chennai, holding back sun rays and arresting the wind flow in the city. “This has led to suspension of particulate matter in the air, visible as smog”, he said.
Weather monitoring website Skymetweather states that the metro has experienced poor air quality over the past few days that in turn has resulted in smoggy days.
The reason for this condition, the minister said, is the “formation of systems in Bay of Bengal, including Cyclone Bulbul and Low Pressure Area, which has restricted the northeasterly wind flow over Chennai, Coastal Tamil Nadu. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, etc.” Thus, the air quality has deteriorated over all the places, he explained.
Moreover, the dense smog shrouding Delhi -NCR, and the plains of North India was pushed to the east by strong westerly winds, gradually travelling to the eastern side. It was further pushed to Southern Peninsula via Odisha, Andhra Pradesh. Thus, due to this, pollution levels have increased over Chennai and adjoining areas. Although, it did thin down until the time it reached Chennai because of long travel, states skymetweather.com