The Sentinel-5 satellite of the Copernicus programme, developed by ESA observed a drop in sulphur dioxide content by 40% in India following the lockdown due to Covid-19. India, which comes next to China, is one of the largest hubs of coal mine based industry and had been a significant contributor to such anthropogenic pollution.
Earlier, NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite data had analyzed 500 source points of sulphur dioxide emissions around the world out of which India recorded to emit an exceeding rate of 50%. One of the significant reasons that had witnessed such a rise in pollution was India’s high rate of coal consumption.
India, the second-largest coal producer in the world, has a high concentration of coalfield near Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. The country had also initiated in established it’s largest coal-fired power-power plant in 2012 which had further jeopardized the situation.
Considering the severe threat to the environment, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate change had tried to install FGD technology to minimize coal-fired power plant utilization earlier in 2015. Instead, due to internal issue, it was delayed by the Supreme court declaration till 2022.
While pandemic lockdown has generated a crisis all over the world following unemployments, Reuters, however, reported a decrease of electric usages by 9.2% in March 2020. Several factories and coal mines had remained shut down, which have benefited in the reduction of polluting agents in the atmosphere.
Copernicus Sentinel-5P, in its recent record, has observed a rapid decline of pollution near Delhi, which is considered one of the most polluted places in India.
While India, being one of the world’s ten most polluted urban areas suffer a death of million people due to air pollution. However, Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite has launched its new algorithmic system that will be able to detect the slightest amount of Sulphur emission, which will further help in stabilizing a better atmospheric condition for a better future.