Thick smog enveloped the city as early as 6 am as Chennaiites celebrated Boghi in Chennai. Express Photo: Shivani Ramakrishnan
Chennai's air quality dropped to 'hazardous' levels Tuesday on the occasion of Boghi. A thick blanket of smog enveloped the city taking the pollution to 597 on the Air Quality Index (AQI) at Alandur bus depot at 10 am, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
On Boghi, which marks the prelude to the harvest festival of Pongal, people clear their houses of old items and burn them in a bonfire, symbolising the start of new beginnings.
Officials at the Chennai International Airport released a statement urging citizens residing around the airport in Meenambakkam to refrain from building bonfires as it compromises visibility.
“Since such activity brings down visibility in and around Chennai airport leading to diversions/cancellations as well as passengers' inconvenience, we are extremely thankful to the valued public support to our plea”, the statement read.
Chennai tops the World Ranking of having the most polluted air as of Today. At one point the PM 2.5 of Manali touched 795 while US Consulate touched 722.
Please comment sensibly. I respect the tradition of our people burning old things, irrespective whether it is right or wrong. pic.twitter.com/w6hZKQvS6K
— TamilNadu Weatherman (@praddy06) January 14, 2020
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted fog for the next few days, till January 16. In its daily forecast Tuesday, IMD said the city will be "fog/mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later (in the day)".