In spite of the claims on a dip in cracker sale and campaigns in favour of a ‘green’ Diwali, the city recorded an increase of 75% in pollution over the last year in Sector 29. At 330 units this year, it is more than three times the standard (safe) level of 100 units.
On a normal day, the city’s pollution this year has been recorded between 114 units and 135 units, again above the safe level. So, pollution this Diwali has also been three times that on any average day in the city.
The sector where the maximum units of pollutants were recorded was Sector 29 with the commercial hub of the city, Sector 17, recording the minimum pollution level at 225 units. Sector 22 was also heavily polluted at 316 units.
Chandigarh Pollution Control Board (CPCB) monitors data at its three centres in Sectors 22, 17 and 19.
The data is based on the number generated for Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). RSPM refers to particulate matter with diameter of less than or equal to 10 micrometres (the millionth part of a metre).
They are produced from combustion process, vehicles and industrial sources.
The sound pollution (noise) remained more or less the same over the previous years at 85 decibels —more than double the standard decibel of 45 — being generated throughout the night. Sector-22 remained the most polluted and at times was even noisier than last year. Data also shows that the levels of sulphur dioxide and oxides of Nitrogen remained within permissible levels.
Sulphur dioxide is associated with asthma, chronic bronchitis, morbidity and mortality increase in old people and infants.
Exposure to the two most common nitrogen oxides, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, can cause death, decrease fertility and impact genes. Tissue swelling, headaches and dizziness are common side-effects when exposed to high levels of nitrogen oxides.
Sector 22 the noisiest
The maximum noise pollution was found in Sector 22 between 9pm-10 pm and minimum was found in Sector 17 between 8 pm-9 pm. Increased pollution levels over last year were seen in Sectors 22 and 17 between
8 pm-10pm. In Sector 29, the pollution level was lower over last year.