Thiruvallur: On behalf of the Pollution Control Board, the Collector of Thiruvallur district, Mageswari Ravikumar, flagged off vehicles to raise public awareness on the harmful effects of the smoke emanating from Bhogi festival.

The toxic smoke from the burning of materials is likely to affect the vehicular movement in the city. Therefore, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is raising awareness of the detrimental effects of pollution.

On the occasion of Bhogi celebrations, people in Thiruvallur district were advised to avoid burning materials such as tyres and plastic products. The smoke from the Bhogi bonfire is likely to create visibility issues and other health issues. Vehicles were deployed all over the district to advise people to celebrate a smoke-free Bhogi this year. An event was also organised in this regard and was attended by officials from various departments, including the Environment and Pollution Control officer Kirubanandam.

Meanwhile, the flights in Chennai got delayed on Monday due to smog following the burning of old items during the Bhogi festival, stated officials.

Bhogi is celebrated on the first day of the four-day Pongal festival. On this occasion, people get rid of their old and neglected things and focus on a new beginning. The state government regularly launches such awareness campaigns ahead of the Bhogi festival, to ensure smoke-free celebration.

The significance of burning waste at the Bhogi bonfire is to mark a change or transformation. At dawn, people light a bonfire with logs of wood, solid-fuels and wooden furniture at home that are neglected or no longer useful to them.