It’s winter, and this year the weather has been harsher than ever. However, despite the chilly weather, there is an improvement in the quality of air across the city of Hyderabad, according to data from the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB).
If one looks at past records, in January 2021, six areas, including Sanathnagar, ICRISAT, Chikkadpally, Balanagar, and Bolaram, had recorded the Air Quality Index (AQI) to be above 150 clearings showing that pollution in the air was dense enough to cause breathing difficulties to lung and heart patients. However, this year, there has been a marked difference, and barely two areas recorded AQI above 150.
According to experts, it is natural for pollution levels to increase during winter due to a process called ‘temperature inversion.’ This happens as there is a layer of warm air sitting above the colder air surface, acting like a lid that traps pollutants and allergens. To put it in simpler terms, it is a pollutant-catching blanket that covers the ground when it is winter. Ironically, despite the intense winter, AQI levels in the city during the current winter season are better than in the last two years.
Another point to notice is that major residential areas in the city have a good Air Quality Index. The AQI of localities such as Jubilee Hills, Paradise, Madhapur, Sainikpuri, and Abids has come down to satisfactory levels. In fact, Sainikpuri and the area surrounding KBR Park had the best AQI in the city during January this year, of 75 and 76, respectively.
Now, with the temperatures beginning to rise once again, air quality in most localities is expected to improve. As per the previous years’ reports by TSPCB, the AQI level in most areas in Hyderabad are less than 50, indicating good air quality during summer and monsoon months.