NEW DELHI: There has been a spurt in the noise and air pollution level in main metro cities following the Diwali festivities on Thursday, with Chennai and Delhi recording an increase in the noise levels due to bursting of firecrackers. Also, the air pollution in the capital city was way above the permissible limits, despite the intensive campaign by the Centre and the state government for limiting the use of firecrackers to check the pollution.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) conducted real- time continuous ambient noise monitoring at 35 locations across seven cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bangalore and Hyderabad-- to assess the level of the noise pollution.
Chennai recorded the highest level of noise pollution, followed by Mumbai and Hyderabad. A rising trend was observed at 21 locations in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow in comparison to Diwali 2013, while 14 locations recorded a decreasing trend, with no change in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Delhi recorded an increase in both air and noise pollution, with levels of harmful pollutants like Carbon Monoxide, oxides of Nitrogen, Sulphur Dioxide, Particulate Matter -- PM10 and PM2.5 -- way above permissible limits. However, the levels were less compared to the previous Diwali. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had constituted eight teams to assist the District Magistrates.And they visited various areas to check the level of noise pollution and also to check shops randomly with respect to compliance of sound emitting firecrackers. Ambient Air Quality Monitoring was done for the particulate matters (levels of PM10 and PM2.5) and for Gaseous Pollutants like Sulphur Dioxide, Oxides of Nitrogen (NO, NO2 and NOx) and Carbon Monoxide.
“Since the past week, PM2.5 and PM10 have shown higher values than prescribed standards. However, this concentration is in tandem with values observed during pre-Diwali in the previous years. No significant changes were observed,” said DPCC.
Increase in the Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) leads to breathing problems and can be dangerous for asthmatics and heart patients.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) System of Air quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), average of PM10 was recorded at 427 mg per cubic metre and PM2.5 was at 278 mpcm, almost five times higher than the prescribed standard of 100 mpcm and 60 mpcm respectively.