One very poor and three poor! This is what Chennai's air quality scores read this (Saturday) morning at 7 am.
This, when the air quality almost everywhere in the neighbourhood (Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala), has improved to good (mostly in Kerala) or satisfactory to moderate (Karnataka and Telangana). The only exception is Sanath Nagar in Hyderabad, where it is poor.
This means Chennai continues to be the black sheep among the southern capitals and other cities, with sustained poor air quality having delivered a red eye yet again on Saturday morning.
Consider the air quality index numbers made available by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
In Chennai, Manali returned a score of 358 (very poor); Velachery, 298 (poor); Alandur Bus Depot, 237 (poor) and Manali Village, 216 (poor) — these are the four places monitored by the CPCB.
In comparison, Bengaluru had BTM Layout at 102 (moderate); BWSSB Kadabesanahalli, 124 (moderate); Bapuji Nagar, 140 (moderate); City Railway Station, 108 (moderate); Hebbal, 92 (satisfactory); Hombegowda Nagar, 128 (moderate); Jayanagar 5th Block, 147 (moderate); and Peenya, 71 (satisfactory).
In Hyderabad, these were the readings: Bollaram Industrial Area, 149 (moderate); Central University, 120 (moderate); ICRISAT Patancheru, 115 (moderate); IDA Pashamylaram, 123 (moderate); Sanathnagar, 273 (poor); and Zoo Park, 167 (moderate).
In Kerala, Udyogamandal at Eloor, in Kochi, the commercial capital of the State, the air quality index was at 37 (good) while it was 47 (good) at Plammood in Thiruvananthapuram, the State's administrative capital.
So what is that which does not tick in favour of Chennai?
For one, there is hardly any wind this (Saturday) morning, with the direction being westerly to north-westerly for any that is there. The air is almost still air, allowing the pollutants elbowroom to hang in there.
The temperature read at 29.2 degrees Celsius at 8 am and the dew point was at 26.6 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity came in at 86 per cent under partly cloudy conditions. So, no hint of rain there.
Chennai’s bloggers and the Twitterati were prompt in coming out with their thoughts and concerns over the Chennai air even as various models predict that weather-friendly easterly to north-easterlies might start to blow in from the Bay of Bengal from Tuesday after very severe cyclone Bulbul fades out.