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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

PPCB readies itself for Diwali

Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  Patiala, November 12, 2012
First Published: 20:56 IST(12/11/2012) | Last Updated: 20:59 IST(12/11/2012)

When fireworks will light up the skylines of Punjab cities on Diwali, devices installed in major cities of the state would monitor the pollution caused during the festivities - courtesy Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

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To press for an eco-friendly and pollution-free Diwali, PPCB, as part of an annual exercise, has made arrangements to monitor the air and noise pollution produced during the Festival of Lights across the state.

The authorities have divided all major cities into three zones - commercial, residential and sensitive. The practice to monitor the pollution level in city is undertaken by PPCB every year during Diwali and later a detailed report is prepared and sent to the Board's head office in Patiala.

As per the PPCB's earlier reports, the air and noise pollution levels around Diwali in Patiala are not alarming. However, in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mohali and Gobindgarh, the level of air and noise pollution is worrying.

PPCB chairman Ravinder Singh said the board, like previous years, would install pollution monitoring devices in residential, commercial and sensitive zones. "This time, the board has also issued strict instructions to the district administrations to run raise awareness among residents to promote eco-friendly Diwali," the chairman said.

Sensitive zones, including hospitals, educational institutions and religious places, have been put on special duty to check the level of pollution. The board is hopeful that that in wake of the awareness campaign launched by it, pollution level may come down this Diwali.  
 
Meanwhile, Patiala mayor Jaspal Pardhan has also appealed to the city residents to celebrate a pollution-free Diwali. "To ensure that there is less pollution in the city, everybody should follow guidelines on the bursting of crackers," Pardhab said, urging the people to keep their surroundings clean during the festival.

As per data with the PPCB, the concentration of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) in the main cities of Punjab has declined. As for the worst performer, residential areas of Ludhiana topped in terms of RSPM concentration on last Diwali. RSPM in Ludhiana was 365-microgram-per-cubic-metre (µg/m3) - much higher than the permissible limit of 100 µg/m3.
 
Likewise, against the permissible limit of 55 decibels (db), the noise pollution level in residential areas of various Punjab cities during the past two years varies between 75 db and 90 db. Last Diwali, noise pollution in the royal city of Patiala was 85.3 db - highest in the state.

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