Bengaluru: The COVID-19 related lockdown has substantially improved the air quality of Bengaluru, taking it from satisfactory level to good, a senior state Pollution Control Board official said here on Sunday.

"During the course of the lockdown for the COVID-19 problem, we reached 'good' position from 'satisfactory'. It is between zero to 50 AQI (Air Quality Index) now. We have good quality air," the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board member, secretary Basavaraj Patil told PTI.

He said the indicator for knowing the air quality is as such: "If the AQI is zero to 50 then it is good. If it is 50 to 100 then it is satisfactory. 101 to 150 is moderate and if it is 151 to 200, then it is poor, he explained. Patil said as per available recrods, there has been a 60 to 65% reduction in pollution during the lockdown.

The city railway station and Peenya industrial area, which used to be among the areas with highest levels in AQI, have seen pollution levels come down significantly, he said. Another major contributor of pollution was construction activities, which too had ground to a halt due to the lockdown, resulting in zero dust emission. Patil opined that the improved air quality would boost the immune system of the people. "It will improve the immune system of people, including those who have breathing problems like asthma," he said.

He asked the public to learn lessons from the lockdown and later switch to sustainable means of transport such as public transport, walking and cycling.

"We can still reduce the pollution load even after the lockdown is over," Patil said.