Thick haze replaced clear, blue skies in Chennai as citizens woke up to a skyline covered by smog for the past two days in the city.
The haze paved way for low visibility in the city as the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at an unhealthy 189 on Tuesday.
Sources at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) told Indianexpress.com that the smog in Chennai was caused by local weather phenomenon. “The sea breeze did not set in yesterday, wind velocity was quite less and there was less humidity in the city. There was no chance for pollutants in the city to rise and disperse and since they are circulating in the atmosphere above the city, the index is high,” said sources.
The concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) had been recorded at 2.5 on Monday.
According to information gathered from TNPCB, the imbalances caused due to the break in the northeast monsoon, the formation of cyclone Maha in the Arabian Sea and the movement of a new cyclone from the Andaman and Nicobar islands towards the Bay of Bengal coast were responsible for the smog formation in the city.
The director of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) had announced on Monday that the smog was not caused due to the high pollution levels in New Delhi. The director rejected theories that the smog had travelled to Chennai from the national capital via wind flow and said the city-wide smog in the coastal city was caused by local phenomenon.
Echoing RMC’s viewpoint, sources at TNPCB said the smog was localised and would not escalate, like in Delhi. “Once the wind sets in, the smog will disperse. The smog has not reached alarming health conditions as in Delhi right now. In fact the wind has picked up today when compared to yesterday. The smog will disperse soon,” they said.