VIJAYAWADA: For the first time over the years, Vijayawada city witnessed muted Diwali celebrations as a majority of the citizens on Sunday celebrated the festival of lights by avoiding bursting of crackers which produce air and noise pollution.
Most of them celebrated the festival in an eco-friendly manner as part of their initiative to protect the environment.
The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) authorities in Vijayawada region expressed happiness as their monitoring exercise has revealed that the ambient air pollution levels at various places in the city have dipped significantly this Diwali season, compared to the last festive season.
The pollution control board authorities installed diffusion tubes to monitor the pollution levels at various places in the city.
The monitoring was carried out near Auto Nagar (industrial zone), Benz Circle (commercial zone) Venkateswara Rao Street and Governorpet (residential zones) on October 25 and on the festival day on October 30.
When contacted, APPCB environment engineer E Satyanarayana said that it was heartening to hear that the overall air and noise pollution levels in the city have dipped drastically this festival season.
Thanks to the awareness created by the artistes and NGOs through performing ‘Kala Jathas’ across the city, a lot of people opted for a cracker-free Diwali to protect the environment, he said. The lab results convey a declining trend in air and sound pollution levels compared to last Diwali and they will be released in the next few days, he said.
Meanwhile, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials also began a massive clean-up drive after Diwali.
They started on the festival night itself and close to 100 tonnes of garbage has been safely disposed of.
The exercise will be continued for the next few days, as a section of the people in the city will burst firecrackers on November 3 on the occasion of Nagula Chavithi festival, said VMC chief medical and health officer M Gopi Naik.