AIR QUALITY PARAMETERS IN THE INDO-GANGETIC PLAIN DURING COVID-19 INDUCED LOCKDOWNGAURAV KUMAR, RAHUL WADHWANI1, MONIKA KOUL, ABHAY K. DWIVEDI AND ASHOK K. GHOSH
Indo-Gangetic plain has a population of ~500 million with the majority belonging to low per capita income. The people are mostly working in the unorganized farm and industrial sectors making them vulnerable to respiratory and cardiovascular problems. COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown brought many activities to a halt including industrial and developmental activities. The present work studies the effect on permitted segmented activities in four phase-wise manners on air quality in terms of suspended particulate matter. It was found that Phase-1 of the lockdown resulted in a reduction of particulate matter especially PM2.5. Only a fractional reduction was observed with PM10 in comparison to PM2.5. This may be because transport and industrial activities were completely halted while agricultural harvest allied activities were permitted. A combined intervention by government bodies to transport, industrial, and agricultural sectors are required in arresting the anthropogenic suspended particulate matters.