How COVID-19 Lockdown Is Leaving It's Impact On India's Air Quality? | The National TV



Covid-19 did not just disturb everything but somewhere it left some major changes as well. For the past, some years the Govt. and some other organizations have been trying to work constantly in order to reduce the pollution level in India and majorly in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and etc. But daily-working industries and the emission of hazardous gases made every step weak. The lockdown situation, brought by Covid-19, has played a very eminent role in the positive changes in the atmosphere. The industries, vehicles, factories, etc. are closed for the past two months and because of that, the emission of hazardous gases like NO2 and CO2 has become less than it was noticed back in March-April 2019.



The decline of NO2 emissions and reduced air pollution levels has been possible by the nationwide lockdown captured by the current pandemic situation. It’s really important that this is maintained even after the lockdown gets lifted. 



If one reads the statement from the Weather Channel, India has 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world but recently, the air pollution level has started to drop drastically as the second-most populated nation endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown amidst coronavirus fears.
The CNN states, “While the complete shutdown of India's economy was designed and managed to stop the outbreak and the spread of COVID-19, it is having some tendentious health benefits of clearing the most polluted air that millions of people were choking on, As vehicles are not running on the road anymore, the construction works are put on hold, and the factories have stopped its mass production of anything, the levels of microscopic particulate matter (i.e. PM 2.5) has started to drop.” Between this devastating Covid-19 pandemic, the rare positive sign has been the significant global decrease in the air pollution levels. Primarily, experts have measured NO2 or Nitrogen Dioxide, which is one of the six major air components, has decreased drastically. 



Pawan Gupta, one of the senior scientist at the Earth Sciences of Universities Space Research Association at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre, told Earther in an email that recently, the heavy rains had occurred in the North and West part of the country that also has helped in the country's pollution levels. Rain is a very effective and strong aerosol removal process from the atmosphere and can bring down particulate matter values, it plays a very eminent role to bring down the macroscopic particulate matter.”


From another major source (According to Quartz), “Since the March 25 lockdown, that was extended, it forced 1.3 billion Indians to stay their respective home, it had an effect on the air quality of New Delhi, usually the worst in the world, and it has dropped to "satisfactory" levels. The lockdown orders brought the decisions to shut down offices, schools, movie theatres, malls, markets, and "non-essential" service providers and all modes of public transport such as metro trains, buses, inter-state trains and domestic and international flights for civilian movement have also been stopped.” 

The effect of the lockdown has been dramatically drastic. In New Delhi, where flights used to be diverted because of heavy industrial and natural smog shrouded the airport, the air pollution levels have dropped 71 percent in just one week and that left everyone amazed. 



Data from C.P.C.B, The Central Pollution Control Board of India's Environment Ministry also showed a 71 percent decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels in some of the major metropolitan cities. According to some data from CNN: Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Bangalore have also recorded a drop in these air pollutants. According to data, it shows that In Mumbai that is also known as the financial capital of India, the air quality levels in March 2019 averaged 153 on the AQI (Air Quality Index), which ranks as unhealthy to breathe while New Delhi averaged 161 last March. But in comparison to March 2020, the pollution level has decreased amazingly from being 161 to the down 83.



According to Kuldeep Srivastava, who heads the regional meteorological center at the Indian Meteorological Department, to the Weather Channel that the air quality is likely to slip into the 'good' category soon, after a very long time. It is due to reduced vehicular traffic and a rise in temperature, and due to the industrial closures brought by Covid-19. However, it is really important to remember that this is a temporary change that has been brought by the measurements. It will return if industry and vehicular traffic return once the lockdown is lifted and everything starts as it used to be working.






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