Diwali celebration in the Arera Colony - one of the poshest settlements in Bhopal - appear to have gone a little out of hand with pollution levels in the locality found to be more than six times higher than normal levels.
Indeed, data compiled by the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) shows that the pollution levels in the residential area was much higher than commercial and industrial areas in the city.
MPPCB recorded Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) at three places -- Hamidia Road, Paryawaran Parisar and Govindpura Area -- on Diwali night.
The RSPM level at Arera Colony was found 616 microgram per cubic metre (mg/cum) while the normal level here is 97 mg/cum, said Avinash Karkare, chief chemist, MPPCB.
The Sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels here also increased from 2 mg/cum to 7mg/cum.
In the industrial Govindpura area, RSPM levels were found to be 476mg/cum -- 2.6 times higher than the normal 183 mg/cum. The level of SO2 was recorded at 7 mg/cum.
This year, pollution at Hamidia Road, a commercial area, was two times higher than normal but the minimum among the three spots monitored in the city.
The RSPM at Hamidia road was recorded at 454 mg/cum against the normal level 240 mg/cum. The level of SO2 is recorded at 7.4 mg/cum.
Karkare said, “In residential areas, pollution level is normally very low but this year they broke all the records. Last year, the RSPM level had increased by 2.5 times only. The data is alarming for residents.”
Smoke hung low in the air after indiscriminate bursting of crackers, hitting visibility in the city. The smoky air and sulphuric smell in the air adversely affected people with respiratory disorders.
Director of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Anupam Kashyapi said that since smoke contains carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which is heavier than air, it settles low in the atmosphere and forms haze, which affects visibility. This phenomenon also causes night temperatures to rise temporarily.
“It will take one or two days for the sky to clear, after which night temperatures will go down slightly,” the director said.
Supreme Court guidelines on cracker bursting and noise pollution were blatantly flouted as people continued to burst crackers and create noise and air pollution till the wee hours of Thursday in the absence of any agency to keep a check on such activities.