COVID-19 pandemic persuaded lockdown effects on environment over stone quarrying and crushing areas
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Stone quarrying and crushing spits huge stone dust to the environment and causes threats to ecosystem components as well as human health. Imposing emergency lockdown to stop infection of COVID 19 virus on 24.03.2020 in India has created economic crisis but it has facilitated environment to restore its quality. Global scale study has already proved the qualitative improvement of air quality but its possible impact at regional level is not investigated yet. Middle catchment of Dwarka river basin of Eastern India is well known for stone quarrying and crushing and therefore the region is highly polluted. The present study has attempted to explore the impact of forced lockdown on environmental components like Particulate matter (PM) 10, Land surface temperature (LST), river water quality, noise using image and field derived data in pre and during lockdown periods. Result clearly exhibits that Maximum PM10 concentration was 189 to 278 μg/m3 in pre lockdown period and it now ranges from 50 to 60 μg/m3 after 18 days of the commencement of lockdown in selected four stone crushing clusters. LST is reduced by 3–5 °C, noise level is dropped to b65dBA which was above 85dBA in stone crusher dominated areas in pre lockdown period. Adjacent river water is qualitatively improved due to stoppage of dust release to the river. For instance, total dissolve solid (TDS) level in river water adjacent to crushing unit is attenuated by almost two times. When entire world is worried about the appropriate policies for abating environmental pollution, this emergency lockdown shows an absolute way i.e. pollution source management may restore environment and ecosystem with very rapid rate.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139281
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