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Green body steps up pollution watch in Gurgaon this Diwali

Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) will set up eight temporary air and noise monitoring stations to keep a check on pollution during the festival of lights

gurgaon Updated: Sep 03, 2017 21:58 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Haryana State Pollution Control Board,Dr. Harsh Vardhan,Harit Diwali
One of the eight temporary air and noise monitoring stations will be installed near the Galleria Market.(Sanjeev Verma/HT FILE PHOTO)

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has planned to install eight temporary air and noise monitoring units across the city during the Diwali week with a view to track pollutants that risk worsening the air quality.

The move follows the launch of “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign by Union minister for environment, forest and climate change Dr. Harsh Vardhan on August 17.

“Every year, we install four monitoring stations that record noise and pollution level for a week during Diwali celebration. However, this time, more monitoring stations will be installed to ensure that pollution data is collated from different locations and action is taken against those found polluting air or creating noise beyond permissible levels,” JB Sharma, regional officer, HSPCB, said.

The temporary air and noise monitoring units will be installed at Bus stand, Sector 4, MG Road, Subhash Chowk, Civil lines, Sector 50, Sikanderpur and near Galleria Market.

The pollution watch dog also appealed to residents not to burst sound crackers, as it drives the level of air and noise pollution in the region.

“We will also start organising workshops from September 18 to sensitise students on the harmful effects of noise pollution and will motivate them to celebrate Diwali minus crackers,” he added.

This year, the board is planning to start the awareness campaign a month in advance with an aim to reduce the impact of pollutants from crackers.

The region always grapples with a rise in air pollution levels due to the bursting of sound crackers on Diwali, said the officials. They said that rampant sound abuse during the festival of lights makes it a tough task for them to check pollution and its impact on the environment. Apart from air pollutants, the sound decibels, too, far outstrip permissible levels during Diwali, the officials said.

Every year, pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and suspended particulate matter such as PM10 are released into the air when sound crackers are burst.

Last year, after Diwali, the level of air pollutants in the city rose to more than 13 times than the permissible level. On November 4, 2017, the HSPCB recorded the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at more than 800 µg/m³. The safe threshold for PM 2.5 is 60 g/m3.

Read I Gurgaon noise levels blare past the safe zone

This year, the air quality has remained poor for the most part, until recently when it was marked ‘average’ after the city received monsoon showers. “We are working to get schoolchildren involved in our effort to reduce pollution. We will be showing them a small video on the impact of pollutants on the environment and urge them to refrain from bursting crackers,” Ranbir Rathi, senior officer, HSPCB, said.

The low temperature during Diwali and calm air cause ‘inversion’ that could lead to pollution close to the ground. The toxic smoke mixed with fog causes smog in the region, said officials.

First Published: Sep 03, 2017 21:58 IST