Traffic in some parts of Chennai was affected today, after people celebrated Bhogi, the first day of Pongal festivities, by burning old things. The situation was no different in other parts of Tamil Nadu as well. Anticipating that the Bhogi smoke would disrupt flight services, Chennai airport has requested fliers to check flight schedules. Passengers can access flight schedules on January 14 through the ‘Chennai Airport’ mobile app that is connected to the Airport Operations Control Centre.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, which confirmed the rise in particulate matter during this period, started last week an awareness campaigns for a smokeless Bhogi. The campaign was aimed at sensitising residents, RWAs, students, etc on the hazards of burning certain items like rubber and plastics. The Environment department of the Tamil Nadu government is also lending its weight to the campaign.
On the eve of Bhogi, a patrol was arranged in association with the Department of Police. Thirty teams were formed to inspect 15 zones in the city. According to Gleneagles Global Health City Institute of Pulmonology head Dr Vijil Rahulan, "Particulate matters measuring 2.5 micrometres and less in dimension are deadly, as they can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause breathing problems, or they can even enter into your bloodstream."