Chennai: The Bhogi festival, which was celebrated in Tamil Nadu on Monday, brought extra cheer for the people of Chennai as the state’s pollution board said the air quality, which turns alarmingly poor on this day due to the burning of old items, was a lot better this time compared to previous years.
The pollution levels at 15 locations is Chennai on Bhogi (Makar Sankranti) were lesser this time, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) said in a statement.
Every year, several flights get rescheduled or cancelled owing to the festival and the smoke emitted from the burning of old wares to uphold the tradition. This year, the TNPCB observed a 40 per cent decrease in the pollution levels.
"When compared with last year’s data, the Particulate Matter (PM10) level in the ambient air was 40 per cent lesser. The airport authorities have stated that there is no disruption in flight operations on the day of Bhogi. In view of the low humidity, moderate temperature and moderate wind speed today, the visibility remained good. Public awareness campaigns and reduction in the burning of waste materials like tyres, tubes, rubber and plastic etc. has helped in the reduction of pollution levels," TNPCB said in the statement.
The state’s pollution control board has been conducting awareness programmes ahead of the festival. Together with the police department, board officials also conducted night patrolling and stopped people from burning waste materials.
"The night patrolling team found burning of waste materials in some places and it was immediately put off with water and sand. More than 100 waste tyres, which were kept for burning purpose, were also seized. They will be sent to Common Hazardous Waste Management Facility at Gummidipoondi," the statement said.