Hyderabad: Air quality levels in the twin cities plummeted in several areas following Diwali celebrations on October 27. The air monitoring station located at Sanath Nagar registered the worst air quality at a maximum of 720 AQI (Air Quality Index) for 2.5 PM (Particulate Matter). It was closely followed by the monitoring station at Hyderabad US Consulate, which registered a maximum of 462 AQI for 2.5 PM from Diwali evening into the night, finally Hyderabad air unhealthy after Diwali. 2.5 PM, which stands for suspended particulate matter, is an air pollutant that can create health problems, especially to vulnerable individuals.

The city’s average air quality-level fell to 109 in the Air Quality Index, which is classified as ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ as per AQI data checked at noon today, obtained from Hyderabad US Consulate air monitoring station.

The other air monitoring stations are located at Zoo Park, Bahadurpura, ICRISAT in Patancheru, Bollaram Industrial Area, Hyderabad Central University and IDA in Pashamylaram. Zoo park and Bollaram registered a maximum of 165 in AQI, while HCU and ICRISAT recorded 164 maximum AQI.

K Baburao, pollution analyst and former chief scientist of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, said pollution levels in the city are quite alarming even though it may have been for a day. “It is natural that air quality decreases during Diwali. There will be many chemical contaminations due to the presence of particulate matter and other metals in the air. The presence of sulphur dioxide and nitrates, majorly used in explosives for sound, also add to the pollution. Where will all this go? Mostly into the atmosphere, which reflects in the pollution level,” he added.

Meanwhile, New Delhi has been suffering from poor air quality for the past few weeks, and after Diwali, the levels have stood at 348 at 11.30 am on Monday, as per data obtained from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Another environmental expert opines that while Delhi has several other factors that are contributing to its air pollution levels, Hyderabad’s pollution, although in a different context, needs to be seriously evaluated. WG Prasanna Kumar, environmental analyst and chairman of Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE), said air-quality levels and air pollution needs to be continuously checked and not just discussed only during special days like Diwali. “If it sustains for a longer period, it would make a difference in the overall air-quality level. We used to have 6-7 hours of Diwali before, but now that has reduced. Instead of blaming people for bursting crackers for a day, efforts should be taken throughout the year to keep the air quality under check,” he added.

Several netizens also took to Twitter to draw comparisons between Hyderabad and Delhi's pollution problem. The news is all about Hyderabad air unhealthy after Diwali.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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