Ahmedabad Still Breathes Better After People Return To Streets

| Updated: May 30, 2022 12:59 pm

According to an IIT Kharagpur research, the pollutants failed to reach pre-pandemic levels in metropolitan cities of India like Ahmedabad even in 2021.

The COVID era brought misery and sorrow to the world. But, the environment took a breath as industrial activity came to a grinding halt and people stayed indoors. Even in the absence of a lockdown and people crowding back on the streets, Ahmedabad air continues to be fresh.

Ahmedabad ranked third among the eight in the ‘rise in air pollutants’ category. ‘Air quality during the Covid-19 lockdown and unlock periods in India analysed using satellite and ground-based measurements is a study published in a Springer journal ‘Environmental Processes.’ The researchers are GS Gopikrishnan, J Kuttippurath, S Raj, A Singh, and A Abhishek from the Centre for Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere, and Land Sciences (CORAL) at IIT, Kharagpur.

The study took nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3) gases into consideration for analysis. According to the data, Ahmedabad recorded a drop of 21% in the NO2 level during 2020 compared to 2019. However, the rise in NO2 levels in 2021 was 18%, which was third in India behind Mumbai Lucknow.

Similarly, the reduction in O3 levels was 6.7% in 2020, rising by 0.8%. In other cities like Bangalore, Delhi, and Ahmedabad, O3 decreased significantly in 2020 compared to 2019. When the government lifted the restrictions, the concentrations of NO2 increased, and ozone decreased. The study also indicates a reduction of NO2 levels of up to 15% in 2020 and an increase of up to 40% in 2021. Professor Dileep Mavlankar, Director of IIPH Gandhinagar, said, “We should look at the readings from an economic angle.”

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