The entire country is under lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, which has killed thousands worldwide. The result of the country-wide lockdown will only be known on April 14 when the lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ends.

The people of the Braj region are still trying to live with the post-lockdown daily routine, struggling to manage their meager rations as the administration tries to figure out a way to deliver the rations from door to door to encourage the people to stay indoors.

However, these few days of lockdown have brought a surprise gift to Agra, with the Air Quality becoming exceptionally good, which is a five-year record for the city in the month of March.

With the vehicular traffic coming down a bare minimum, the air quality has gone through significant improvement not just in Agra, but the entire Braj region.

In Agra, on March 25, the AQI remained at 60, which is the best air quality in five years for that particular date.

According to a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report, the air quality, in the month of March, remained good for 14 days and average for 11 days. In the entire month, the particulate matter, dust, and carbon monoxide values remained low.

CPCB Agra head Kamal Kumar said the lockdown, as well as the rains, have caused this drastic improvement in the air quality of Agra.

He said Agra has a lot of dust in the air on normal days which were suppressed due to the rains. With the vehicular traffic coming to a stop, along with the construction work, the air quality has further improved.

“The entire month of March saw good rainfall, factories are under lockdown and the vehicles are not moving so the air quality was bound to improve. If we look at the Air Quality in 2018, March 18 was the worst day with an AQI of 96, while in 2017, the AQI had crossed 300 for 6 days,” UP Pollution Control Board senior official BP Yadav said.

Date AQI

25/3/16 120
25/3/17 137
25/3/18 150
25/3/19 151
25/3/20 60

“If the pollution could be brought down in the future, it could result in the elimination of many diseases that are caused by air pollution,” he said.

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