Diwali was cleaner as compared to previous years as the figures of air pollution witnessed a dip this year. However, noise pollution once again saw a minor increase as compared to last year.

According to the data collected by the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC), the air and noise pollution level on Diwali night once again exceeded the permissible limit in the city.

According to the CPCC data, the air pollution level, though, exceeded the permissible limit at all the three locations, but the levels of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) recorded in all three locations — Sector 22 (residential zone), Sector 29 (silence zone) and Sector 17 (commercial zone) were lower as compared to last year.

The RSPM level in Sector 22 (residential zone) witnessed a dip this time with figures of 124 mpcm on Diwali night. Last year, the figure was 218 mpcm.

Sector 29, which was declared a silence zone because of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinic in Sector 29, witnessed a RSPM level of 189 micrograms per cubic meter (mpcm) against the permissible limit of 100. This was 260 mpcm in 2014.

In the commercial zone, Sector 17, the RSPM level on Diwali night was 102 mpcm, which was 185 mpcm last year.

The noise pollution level reached 85.8 decibels (db) in the residential zone, 83 db in silence zone, which was higher as compare to last year—82.9 db (residential zone) and 75 db (silence zone). However, the noise pollution in commercial zone witnessed a dip with 67.2 db as compare to 68.4 db last year.

This year, the board had installed pollution detection equipment at three places: Sector 29 (silence zone), Sector 22 (residential zone) and Sector 17 (commercial zone).

The directions issued by the UT Administration regarding ban on bursting of crackers after 10 pm had little effect on residents. Various parts of the city witnessed bursting of crackers after 10 pm.

The level of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at all the locations was within the permissible limits.

Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh