Corona curfew curbs, rain help improve air quality of UP cities

Published on May 30, 2021 11:52 PM IST

Lucknow: The cyclone –induced rain and the curbs during the period of corona curfew in Uttar Pradesh helped better the Air Quality Index (AQI) of many cities in May as per data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

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Lucknow: The cyclone –induced rain and the curbs during the period of corona curfew in Uttar Pradesh helped better the Air Quality Index (AQI) of many cities in May as per data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The average AQI of Uttar Pradesh in May was recorded below 150 , similar to that recorded last year and one of the lowest since 2000.

The average AQI recorded in Lucknow between May 1 to May 30 this year, was around 150. In 2020, when country-wide lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19, the city had recorded a similar AQI. However, in 2019 the average AQI in Lucknow was recorded at around 300 in the month of May.

According to CPCB classification, AQI between 101 to 200 is categorised as moderate with very little impact on human health and AQI between 201 and 300 as poor. AQI between 301 and 400 is categorised as very poor and that above 400 as severe.

According to experts, beside corona curfew curbs, the above average rainfall across the state also led to improvement of air quality. The state recorded more than 60 mm of rainfall in May, almost double than the normal rainfall “The state recorded around 12 days of rainfall caused by western disturbances or conditions caused first by Tauktae and Yaas cyclones. There were rain, thunderstorms and strong winds in most parts of the state,” said state MeT department director JP Gupta.

These weather conditions helped AQI of major UP cities to improve considerably. Cities like Lucknow, Agra, Noida, Moradabad, Kanpur and Baghpat which record the worst AQI in the country showed considerable improvement in their AQI this month.

Meanwhile, experts warn that the improvement is temporary which will subside as the curbs are relaxed in the state. “The improvement in AQI of UP cities in May is a positive sign but these changes are temporary that will subside quickly with relaxation of corona curfew norms. The citizens and decision-makers must try to make arrangements so that we can have cleaner air all around the year,” said senior environmentalist Devesh Kumar.

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