With the ban of the central government on import of Chinese crackers this year, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has all reasons to believe that Diwali this year would be less noisy and with less pollution as compared to the past few years.
Ludhiana is one of the most polluted cities of the country as the city is dotted with different industrial units that emanate smoke and pollution into the atmosphere. During Diwali days the level of pollutants in the atmosphere rise tremendously adding to the woes of the residents who suffer with several diseases caused due to the pollution.
Chinese and sub-standard crackers are the main reason of the significant rise in pollution in the city every year. However, due to the ban on these crackers by the central government last year, the PPCB believes that the level of pollution would go down as compared to last year.
Although this is sure that pollution would be caused during the days near Diwali and soon after the festival as even the standard as well as approved crackers produce smoke and cause pollution but the pollution caused by Chinese and sub-standard crackers is much more than these crackers.
Official data of noise and air pollution during the days of Diwali accessed by the HT shows that there is a decline in the level of pollution as compared to the past few years. The noise pollution during the past some years has shown considerable decline especially in the residential areas of the city.
While the noise pollution level in residential areas in 2009 during Diwali days was 91 decibels that decreased significantly to 75.48 decibels in year 2014. The level of noise pollution in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 was 86, 78.3, 73.1 and 70.86 decibels during Diwaly days respectively.
Meanwhile, air pollution has increased during the days of Diwali during the past some years. The Respirable Suspended Particilate matter (RSPM) a day before in residential area in year 2014 was 83 while that on the day of Diwali was 316. In year 2013. RSPM in residential areas before Diwali was 240 while that on the day of festival was 335. RSPM in 2012 on the day before Diwali was 303 while that on the day of festival was 390.
Gulshan Rai, chief environmental engineer of the PPCB, said it is expected that the level of pollution would not rise significantly on the day of Diwali. “Awareness regarding harmful effects of use of crackers is on rise and we are keeping a close watch on pollution levels during these days” said Rai.