International Journal of Environmental and Ecology Research

International Journal of Environmental and Ecology Research


International Journal of Environmental and Ecology Research
International Journal of Environmental and Ecology Research
2021, Vol. 3, Issue 1
Impact of covid-19 lockdown on changing concentration of particulate matter (pm) & air quality status: Study of Ghaziabad city, Uttar Pradesh, India

Subhankar Naha, Pritam Ghosh, Shreyasi Biswas

Impact of covid-19 lockdown on changing concentration of particulate matter (pm) & air quality status: Study of Ghaziabad city, Uttar Pradesh, India

Subhankar Naha1*, Pritam Ghosh2, Shreyasi Biswas2

1 Department of Geography, Lecturer, Naba Barrackpur Prafulla Chandran Mahavidyalaya, New Barrackpur, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

2 Department of Geography, Ex. Student, Presidency University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

 

 

Abstract

In recent times air pollution level in urban areas has become a serious threat for people not only in India but worldwide. Covid-19 Pandemic being the major crisis of this century has made major changes in environmental condition and most importantly Air quality status worldwide. Indian governments along with other countries declared nationwide lockdown in order to control the spread of Covid-19. This study focuses on investigating the impact of lockdown upon particulate matter concentration (PM 10, PM 2.5) with the overall Air Quality Status by AQI (Air Quality Index) during different phases from 25th March to 31st May. This study was conducted upon Ghaziabad city of Uttar Pradesh, Which is regarded among the most polluted cities in India in recent times. Result obtained from the study shows that every considered area of Ghaziabad city has recorded significant reduction in PM 10 (µg/m3) and PM 2.5(µg/m3) concentration than the previous year and also less than the National Permissible limit. Ghaziabad has shown an unexpected drop in AQI to “Satisfactory” level in 2020 where the AQI used to be recorded as “Poor”, “Very Poor” and “Severe” in previous years. The focus of the study is to detect the changes in air quality due to the absence of major human activities like industries, construction works, vehicular movement which are the major contributors of Particulate matter in the air. Overall findings of this study focus on the need for efficient human activity management to control air pollution and also as a preventive measure for future environmental disasters.

 

Keywords: Covid-19, Air Pollution, Particulate Matter, AQI, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

 

 

 

Introduction

 

In recent times with the growing urbanization process quality of air become a topic of concern worldwide and for India as well. According to WHO exposure to polluted air has become a major risk factor in present dates worldwide. With the increasing population and related urban growth consumption of energy and other recourses also increased, which contributes air pollution [1]. Currently India is experiencing widespread of air pollution in mainly different urban areas where vehicles are major contributor [2]. Other activity like industrial activities, outdoor constructional activities also contributes to changing air quality in different areas.

The COVID -19 pandemic has been recognized as a major threat to humanity in 2020 for the whole world. As from the initial stage of this pandemic the Covid-19 virus has transmitted very fast in different countries with the movement of people across the countries. After reporting some of the positive cases throughout the country the Government of India have taken different restriction like complete shut down on different commercial activities, educational institutes, other institutes, different government and private offices, complete restrictions in vehicular movement as preventive measures of controlling Covid-19 pandemic. All this restrictions in lockdown were predicted to have an impact in decreasing the major pollutants of air pollution from different anthropogenic activities throughout the different regions of world and that have been reported in many studies in India also [3, 4, 5]. Several studies also highlighted the surprising changes in overall air quality pattern due to sudden lockdown of different regions/cities of the world including different polluted cities of India [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

The Indian Government first declared a “Janta Curfew” on 22nd March to see the changes in spread of the novel covid-19 and therefore the Government declare its first Phase of Complete Lockdown from 25 of March to 14 of April (21 days) in India and lockdown extended to another three phases.

The prime objective our study was investigating the impact of lockdown period, i.e. from March 25th 2020 to 31st May 2020 (Four Phases) mainly on Particulate matter (PM 10, PM 2.5) Concentration and changing air quality status of Ghaziabad city. The air pollution trends during this lockdown days of different phases were in comparison to the same time period of previous year (2019) to quantify any changes. Additionally, the peak concentrations during the lockdown were also examined through available data. Temporal changes in different stages of (4 Phases) for both the concentration of particulate matter and overall air quality status has been investigated. In this study status of air quality in Ghaziabad city was analyzed using AQI (Air Quality Index) for two consecutive years.

 

Study area

Ghaziabad is a city in Uttar Pradesh and comes under the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi and is known as administrative headquarters of the Ghaziabad Districts. It is also termed as “Gateway of Uttar Pradesh” due to its well connectivity with northern part of India (Wikipedia). The coordinates of the city is from 28 ̊ 40 ̍ N and 77 ̊ 25 ̍ E. It is situated on the grand trunk road which is located in the east of the Hindon River. The city has a population 3343334 (2011 census) and growth rate of 53%. Ghaziabad is an important place for industrial development. In recent times with the development of Delhi, people are attracted towards this city and the city is experiencing tremendous growth of population which ultimately leads to environmental deterioration mainly air quality. According to the world Air quality report of IQ Air Ghaziabad was the 2nd most polluted (2018) and most polluted (2019) regional cities in the world. This city has been selected as a study area to observe the changes in Lockdown period.

 

Materials and Methods

For the evaluation of changing concentration of particulate matter in of Ghaziabad city all the information was collected and analyzed based on available data from CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) and UPPCB (Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board). Ghaziabad city has four automated air quality monitoring stations at present namely Indhirapuram, Lony, Sanjay Nagar, Vasundhara. In the present study mainly particulate matter of >10um size (PM 10) and particulate matter of >2.5um (PM 2.5) has been considered for the evaluation of change in concentration during lockdown period. Day wise 24 hourly average data of this particulate matter (PM) taken into consideration mainly for different lockdown phases (25thMarch – 31stMay) declared by the Government of India. Total data set has been divided into two segments one is reference year (2019) and another is current year (2020) for further comparisons. To quantify the possible changes regarding pollutant and air quality status percentage of change has been calculated by using following equation

 

D= (Yc-Yr)/ Yr * 100 [12]

Where,

D is the percentage of change, Yc is the concentration of pollutant in the current year (2020) during lockdown period (considering different phases), and Yr is the concentration of pollutants in reference year (2019) during same period as current year.

In order to know about the scenario of air quality of Ghaziabad city, AQI data of 2019 and 2020 (same period) was prepared based on the automated stations of Ghaziabad (www.app. cpcdccr.com). All AQI data was presented through two master tables with different color based on AQI index given by CPCB for better understanding. These master tables reflects a clear picture of air quality status of Ghaziabad in the year 2019 and 2020, Specially it helps to compare the effect of Covid-19 lockdown on the status of air quality. For preparation of theses master tables daily average data of 24 hours were collected from AQI bulletin of CPCB and further analyzed.

 

Air quality Index

According to CPCB (2014) the most effective tool to highlight the Air Quality status is Air Quality Index (AQI). This index makes easy for people to understand the air quality status of their respective area. Using AQI the complex data of different air pollutants are transformed into index value, colour and nomenclature. CPCB has divided AQI into six different categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderate, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. Every categories have different ambient concentration values of pollutants. This categories also characterized by different health break points based on health impacts. To calculate AQI sub-index and health breakpoints there are eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) which are taken into consideration in most of the case. The short term (24 Hours) national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants has been prescribed CPCB (Table 1).

 

 

Table 1: Categories and break point concentration of AQI System (CPCB, 2014)

 

AQI Class (Range)

Health Impacts

PM 10 24h

PM 2.5 24h

Concentration Range

Good(0-50)

Minimal impacts

0-50

0-30

Satisfactory(51-100)

Minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people

51-100

31-60

Moderately polluted(101-200)

Breathing discomfort to people with lung diseases

101-250

61-90

Poor(201-300)

Breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure

251-350

91-120

Very poor(301-400)

Respiratory illness to the people on prolonged exposure

351-430

121-250

Severe(401-500)

Respiratory illness to the people on prolonged exposure

>430

>250

 

 

Basic descriptive statistics has been used to highlight day wise changes of air quality and concentration of particulate matter.

 

Result and Discussion

In recent years Ghaziabad consistently been one of the most polluted city in India and worldwide as well. In terms of growing population and traffic growth in recent times the city has experienced very poor and severe air quality many times in previous year (2019). According to the CPCB data particulate matter (PM 10, PM 2.5) has been considered as a major pollutants for poor air quality in urban areas. Mostly poor air quality resultant from vehicle and industrial effluents mainly. Deteriorating air quality of Ghaziabad has become a major concern for human health.

Normally as every region has different weather pattern and weather elements like temperature, precipitation, Relative humidity, Wind direction & velocity changes spatiotemporally. These weather elements tend to have impact on pollutant level at that time. Meteorological parameters like Wind speed, Precipitation etc plays a major part in diffusion and transportation of air pollutants [13]. In every region there is a strong seasonal variability of meteorological elements which modulate the air quality level [14, 15] So in Ghaziabad city in terms of overall air quality status there must be some seasonal variations but in the present study only changes due to lockdown and its comparison with previous year has been done.

In the year 2020 as every region of India has went through a partial lockdown process as controlling measures of Covid-19 pandemic. So maximum portion of traffic vehicle, industries and constructional activities were shut down completely. So, this sudden closure of every human activity has reduced the air pollution level and concentration of particulate matter of the city like other cities surprisingly. Some of the recent studies show that pollutants level mainly level of particulate matter has decreased in a significant level in urban areas across the globe [16, 17, 18].

 

Table 2: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter

 

Pollutants

Weighted Average Based On Time

Residential, Industrial and other areas

Ecologically Sensitive area

PM 10

24 Hours

100

100

PM 2.5

24 Hours

60

60

 

Evaluating the Changing scenario of PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations during Lockdown phases with compare to reference year

In order to analyze the change in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations we tried to explored 24 hours average pattern of two pollutants over reference year (2019) considering the same period as lockdown in current year (2020). Continuous monitoring data of PM 10 and PM 2.5 were obtained from automated monitoring stations of Ghaziabad.

Table 3,4,5,6 highlights the basic statistics regarding the major differences in PM10 and PM2.5 concentration of different lockdown phases ( 25th March to 31st May of 2020) in compare to reference year (2019) for the same period of time.

 

Indirapuram: Variation in PM 10 and PM 2.5 of Indirapuram are shown in Table-3. it can be noticed that in the previous year (2019) average concentration of PM 10 was very high in different phases of time period and it has reduced significantly by -71.3%,-58.9%,-70.6%,-23.2% respectively in lockdown periods of 2020. The maximum concentration of PM 10 was near to severe as 410, 409, 495, and 411(µg/m3) respectively in different time phases in 2019. But in the same period of lockdown in 2020 this concentration has reduced surprisingly (-62.2%,-39.4%,-67.1%,-39.7%). Likewise average PM 2.5 concentration has decreased by about -67.2%, -48.7%, -58.5%, -21% respectively in lockdown with compare to same time periods of previous year (2019).

 

 

Table 3: Basic statistics considering 24 hour average PM10 and PM2.5 concentration for different phases of lockdown (2020) and the previous year records (2019) in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad

 

Indirapuram

Statistics

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Variation in % (2020 and 2019)

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

PM10

Maximum

410

155

409

248

495

163

411

248

-62.2

-39.4

-67.1

-39.7

Median

259

70

308

99

380.5

108

207.5

193.5

-73

-67.9

-71.6

-6.7

Minimum

186

34

84

66

166

58

118

36

-81.7

-21.4

-65.1

-69.5

Average

285.0

81.7

284.1

116.7

362.4

106.6

225.5

173.1

-71.3

-58.9

-70.6

-23.2

Std

71.0

33.8

85.4

46.6

105.0

29.3

76.8

72.9

-52.4

-45.4

-72.1

-5.1

PM2.5

Maximum

182

83

140

93

179

80

100

116

-54.4

-33.6

-55.3

16

Median

88

26

85

46

113

48.5

74

51

-70.5

-45.9

-57.1

-31.1

Minimum

52

15

24

22

70

23

45

16

-71.2

-8.3

-67.1

-64.4

Average

103

33.8

89

45.7

116.5

48.3

71.9

56.8

-67.2

-48.7

-58.5

-21

Std

40.9

18.9

29.3

19.1

34.3

15.4

18.5

33.8

-53.8

-34.8

-55.1

82.7

 

 

Loni: Variation in PM 10 and PM 2.5 of Loni are shown in Table 4. In this area average concentration of PM10 has decreased significantly in lockdown phases by -52.5%, -36.9%, -57.7%, -14.1% respectively compare to same time period of previous year. The maximum concentration of PM10 in this area has recorded as high as 457, 521, 598, and 454 which considered as “severe” in terms of Breakpoint concentration of AQI system by CPCB (Table-1) which has significantly reduced in same period of lockdown. Reduction rate in different phases are -52.5%, -36.9%, -57.7%,-14.1%. Average concentration of PM2.5 in lockdown periods has decreased by -53.4%, -35.7%, -58.9%, -15.1% in comparison to same period of previous year.

 

 

Table 4: Basic statistics considering 24 hour average PM10 and PM2.5 concentration for different phases of lockdown (2020) and the previous year records (2019) in Loni, Ghaziabad

 

Loni

Statistics

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Variation in % (2020 and 2019)

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

PM 10

Maximum

457

217

521

329

598

253

454

390

-52.5

-36.9

-57.7

-14.1

Median

290

115

393

162

426.5

163

275.5

272.5

-60.3

-58.8

-61.8

-1.1

Minimum

184

46

129

88

165

79

117

44

-75

-31.8

-52.1

-62.4

Average

300.1

116.9

347.1

183.3

428.3

168.4

267.9

253.1

-61.1

-47.2

-60.7

-5.5

Std

82.1

50.6

118.8

62.8

134.7

51.4

92.0

111.8

-38.4

-47.2

-61.8

21.5

PM 2.5

Maximum

187

91

145

112

197

112

154

155

-51.1

-22.8

-43.2

0.7

Median

108

46

89

48

165.5

62

90

63

-57.4

-46.1

-62.5

-27

Minimum

48

15

38

25

73

32

50

15

-68.8

-34.2

-56.2

-70

Average

105.7

49.3

93

59.8

155.5

63.9

91.3

77.5

-53.4

-35.7

-58.9

-15.1

Std

40.9

23.2

34.7

25.4

39.7

22.2

34.3

48.2

-43.3

-26.8

-44.1

40.5

 

Sanjay Nagar: Variation in PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Sanjay Nagar are shown in Table 5. It can be noticed that in this area average concentration of PM10 was very high in different phases in 2019 and it has reduced significantly in lockdown in the same time period by-66.1%,-56.7%,-70.0%,-33.1%. The maximum concentration of PM10 was near to “severe” as 402, 452, 636, and 396(µg/m3) respectively in different phases in 2019 which has reduced surprisingly by-56.7%,-38.5%,-70.3%,-33.6% in lockdown. Likewise average PM2.5 concentration in four phases of lockdown has decreased by -57.4%, -40%, -58.6%, -22.8% respectively in compare to same time periods of previous year (2019).

 

 

Table 5: Basic statistics considering 24 hour average PM10 and PM2.5 concentration for different phases of lockdown (2020) and the previous year records (2019) in Sanjay Nagar, Ghaziabad.

 

Sanjay Nagar

Statistics

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Variation in % (2020 and 2019)

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

PM10

Maximum

402

174

452

278

636

189

396

263

-56.7

-38.5

-70.3

-33.6

Median

286

90

326

121

458

132

249.5

183

-68.5

-62.9

-71.2

-26.7

Minimum

179

38

93

57

158

68

139

36

-78.8

-38.7

-57

-74.1

Average

293.4

99.5

308.5

133.6

423.3

126.9

258.4

172.8

-66.1

-56.7

-70.0

-33.1

Std

65.0

39.8

95.4

54.2

151.0

37.2

84.4

78.1

-38.8

-43.2

-75.4

-7.5

PM2.5

Maximum

190

94

145

118

215

95

141

132

-50.5

-18.6

-55.8

-6.4

Median

99

48

100

51

130.5

55

93

57.5

-51.5

-49

-57.9

-38.2

Minimum

54

22

22

24

79

22

52

23

-59.3

9.1

-72.2

-55.8

Average

117.4

50

91.6

55

136.7

56.6

91.2

70.4

-57.4

-40

-58.6

-22.8

Std

41.3

21.9

33.1

25.5

43.8

19.7

24.9

39.8

-47

-23

-55

59.8

 

 

Vasundhara: Variation in PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Vasundhara are shown in Table 6. In this area average concentration of PM10 has decreased significantly in lockdown phases by -72.9%, -59%, -68.7%, -33.7% respectively compare to same time period of previous year. The maximum concentration of PM 10 in this area has recorded as high as 444, 387, 510, and 420 which considered as “severe” in terms of Breakpoint concentration of AQI system by CPCB (Table 1) which has significantly reduced in same period of lockdown by -60.1%, -35.4%, -66%,-42.1%). Average concentration of PM2.5 in lockdown periods has decreased by -60.9%, -40.8%, -53.3%, -28.1% in comparison to same period of previous year.

 

 

Table 6: Basic statistics considering 24 hour average PM10 and PM2.5 concentration for different phases of lockdown (2020) and the previous year records (2019) in Vasundhara, Ghaziabad

 

Vasundhara

Statistics

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Variation in % (2020 and 2019)

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

PM10

Maximum

444

177

387

250

510

172

420

243

-60.1

-35.4

-66

-42.1

Median

268

60

312

103

371

114.5

277.5

185.5

-77.6

-67

-69.1

-33.2

Minimum

174

40

90

48

167

63

134

43

-77

-46.7

-62.3

-67.9

Average

281.1

76.3

282.3

115.7

364.4

114

262.5

174

-72.9

-59

-68.7

-33.7

Std

72.4

47.4

87.3

47.6

104.5

34.2

72.8

71.6

-34.5

-45.5

-67.3

-1.7

PM2.5

Maximum

191

94

136

100

235

85

123

118

-50.8

-26.5

-63.8

-4.1

Median

91

33

83

47

111

51.5

82.5

56.5

-63.7

-43.4

-53.6

-31.5

Minimum

56

20

17

27

52

30

50

22

-64.3

58.8

-42.3

-56

Average

105.3

41.2

83.3

49.3

113.8

53.1

85.4

61.4

-60.9

-40.8

-53.3

-28.1

Std

39.3

20.5

29.8

19.0

49.6

14.9

23.3

31.0

-47.8

-36.2

-70.0

33.1

 

 

As we can see from the overall condition spatiotemporally every areas of Ghaziabad are having a very much positive impact of lockdown on particulate matter concentration. Except 4th phases of lockdown every phases has experience more than 60% reduction in an average for both PM10 & PM2.5 concentration considering same time period of previous year. Generally urban areas like Ghaziabad having major industrial activities, constructional activities and heavy vehicular load everyday which are the major contributor of particulate matter in the air. In this lockdown absence of these major activities has surprisingly reduced the amount of particulate matter concentration in air and the whole city became cleanest than ever based on air quality.

 

Day wise trend of PM10 and PM2.5 concentration in Lockdown Phases and its comparison with NAAQS:

There is a variation of air pollutants diurnally, monthly and seasonally as well in different environments.12 In order to understand the tendency of air pollutants here a comparison of particulate matter in lockdown phases and same periods of previous year (2019) has been done with the Nation Ambient Air Quality Standards.

 

Trends of PM 10: Trends of PM10 in different areas of Ghaziabad are shown in the Figure (a),( b),(c),(d). In 2019 all these areas recorded very high PM10 level than criteria given by NAAQS except two-three days among the whole period. In every areas PM10 level many times crossed 300(µg/m3) which seems to be poor based on AQI breakpoints by CPCB (Table1) which may cause discomfort in Breathing to people with exposure. But in lockdown in the same period all areas recorded PM10 level well below the standard which made air quality cleanest than ever in those areas.

Trends of PM 2.5: Trends of PM2.5 in different areas of Ghaziabad are shown in Figure (e),(f),(g),(h). Areas like Indirapuram, Loni,Sanjay nagar and Vasundhara recorded very higher level of PM 2.5 even more than 100(µg/m3) many times which categorized as poor to very poor according to AQI break points by CPCB(Table 1). This higher level of pollutants may cause discomfort to human health. Surprisingly in lockdown periods mostly in first three phases level of PM 2.5 has reduced significantly even below given criteria of NAAQS. During lockdown these areas became cleanest for the very fast time in long term.

 

AQI data analysis

Air Quality Indices are calculated for cities all over India using data from CAAQM stations. CPCB publishes daily AQI bulletin at 4 PM for the cities with CAAQM stations. (CPCB). AQI value has been collected and presented through master tables. Table 7, 8 shows month wise AQI values of two consecutive years of Ghaziabad city. If we look at the average AQI values of the whole area it ranges from 93-349 in 2019 and 63-351 in 2020 respectively. From the AQI values of 2019 some seasonal variations can be seen. Months of August, September has recorded lowest average AQI which lies in satisfactory category mainly due to monsoonal effect. Months like January, February, March, April, May, June, October and November were the most polluted months which recorded Poor to very poor AQI value. From the table of 2019 it can be seen that months like January, February and November has recorded Very poor and Severe AQI value maximum times which signifies its vulnerable condition of peoples health in long exposure.

As in 2020 due to Covid 19 pandemic every region of India went down a complete lockdown from March 25- may 31, which reflected in the AQI values as well. Mainly in the lockdown months AQI values dropped significantly in Ghaziabad city than previous year irrespective of any weather condition. In Table 9 Different statistical parameters has been calculated which helps to understand the changes in AQI values in different phases of Lockdown than previous year. It shows that AQI of Ghaziabad dropped by -58.5%,-49.2%,-52.7%and -12.9% respectively in different phases of lockdown than reference year (2019). In 2019 Ghaziabad has recorded “very poor” and “severe” air quality several times which significantly dropped to “moderately polluted level” and made it cleaner than before.

 

 

Table 9: Basic statistics considering 24 hour average of AQI for different phases of lockdown (2020) and the previous year records (2019) in Ghaziabad

 

Statistics

Phase 1(25march-14 April)

Phase 2(15 April-3May)

Phase 3(4May-17May)

Phase 4(18 May-31 May)

Variation in % (2019 and 2020)

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Max

342

194

342

250

435

208

339

247

-43.3

-26.9

-52.2

-27.1

Min

145

39

108

66

198

66

144

61

-73.1

-38.9

-66.7

-57.6

Mean

241

100

256

130

311

147

217

189

-58.5

-49.2

-52.7

-12.9

 

 

In this section a comparison of AQI of lockdown days (25 march to 31 may) with the same days of previous year (Figure 3) has been done which shows that in 2019 recorded AQI in those days were “Poor” and “Very poor” maximum times. On the other side same dates of lockdown period shows a surprising declination in AQI as here maximum time AQI has recorded “Moderately polluted” and “Satisfactory” level. So Nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure of Covid 19 pandemic has improved the overall air quality of Ghaziabad in a surprising way. It has been found that the main culprit behind “very poor” and “severe” AQI are PM 10 and PM 2.5 which are found in maximum cases of the whole area. With the growing of urban activities mostly Industry, vehicular movement contributes to increase level of Particulate Matter. Study says that the reduction in PM levels is resulted by reduced movement of vehicles and closure of industrial and construction activities.12

 

Conclusion

Covid-19 induced lockdown has surprisingly resulted in positive environmental condition in many countries. Changing in air quality status has been the most identifiable phenomenon after lockdown throughout the regions/cities of the world. Present study highlighted the changing concentration of Particulate matter (PM 10, PM2.5) in the air in lockdown phases from 25th March – 31st May of Ghaziabad city, Uttar Pradesh, India. In every phases of lockdown concentration of particulate matter reduced significantly like never before and maximum time’s concentration went down below National standard of CPCB.AQI value which basically generalize the pollution status of any area, here level of AQI in lockdown phases also validate the fact that air quality became cleaner than before. AQI reduced to “satisfactory” many times from “very poor” “severe”. As in the recent years due to growing population and the effect of urban sprawl of National capital region of Delhi, activities like Industrialization, Vehicular movement, Constructional activities has increased significantly which ultimately uplifted the concentration of particulate matter in air and overall AQI of the concerned area. Due to this problem health condition of inhabitants of the area and overall social system becoming highly vulnerable day by day. The study needs to be extended to understand changes in other pollutants due to lockdown for better understanding. So overall this Lockdown and its surprising reduction of Particulate matter concentration in the air and overall AQI can be taken as suggestive measure for future to control air pollution in the cities like Ghaziabad. This lockdown happened due to some emergency situation worldwide, so it cannot be used in normal situations but in future in case of any environmental emergency and related problems this system can be utilize to control or mitigate many problems in a manageable way.

 

Acknowledgement

Authors are thankful to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for punishing the needful data. Authors are also thankful to Dr. Saswati Roy, (Department of Geography, Sarsuna College, Kolkata) for helping us with some ideas.

 

Funding Sources

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of these article.

 

Conflict of Interest

The authors declares no conflict of interest.

 

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