Despite much noise in awareness rallies, the efforts have ended up as mere air. Noise and air pollution in the city witnessed an upward trend this Diwali, according to the data gathered by the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC). The trend was even worse in Panchkula, while SAS Nagar's figures remain to be compiled.
In Chandigarh, data was collected from three locations. For residential area, the CPCC had installed equipment in Sector 22, in Sector 17 for collecting data from commercial area and, for the 'silence zone' category, equipment was installed 100 metres from the dispensary in Sector 29. Respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) levels at all these locations exceeded the permissible limits, that is 100 micrograms per cubic metre. Sector 22 topped the list yet again with the RSPM level hitting 450 micrograms per cubic metre, significantly up from 280 last Diwali. Sector 29 had RSPM of 409, which was 349 last year. The RSPM level in Sector 17 was down to 165 as compared to last year's 207, but still much above the permissible 100.
Level of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at all the locations was, however, within permissible limits. But sound levels exceeded the limits at all three places.
The permissible sound limit is between 45 decibels (db) at night and 55 during the day. But in Sector 29, between 9pm and 10 pm, the reading was 77.5 db, slightly up from 75.9 of lat Diwali. During the same period, Sector 22 recorded figures of 76.6 db, as compared to 75.9 in 2012. Sector 17 was the saving grace, somewhat, at 69.3 db, though last year the figure was lower, at 64.8 db.
Noise level in decibels: Normal is 45 db at night and 55 during day
(9-10pm) Normal day (2012) Diwali day
(2012) Normal day
(2013) Diwali day
Sector 22 60.9 75.9 53.4 76.4
Sector 29 60.1 75.9 57.1 77.5
Sector 17 51.1 67.8 64.8 69.3
Air quality: Normal RSPM* level is 100micrograms/cubic metre
Where Normal day (2012) Diwali day (2012) Normal day (2013) Diwali day (2013)
Sector 22 145 280 109 450
Sector 29 154 349 131 409
Sector 17 111 207 135 165
*RSPM: respirable suspended particulate matter