Gurgaon breathes a bit easier this year after Diwali | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Gurgaon breathes a bit easier this year after Diwali

The suspended particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was five times the permissible limit of 60 microns on Friday, when last year, it was almost 13 times the permissible limit .

gurgaon Updated: Oct 20, 2017 21:12 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Diwali festival,Air pollution,Gurgaon
Air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board on Friday marked Gurgaon air as ‘ very poor’. But the skyline was relatively clearer than last year.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

The city breathed comparatively easier this Diwali as there was considerable reduction in pollutants as compared to the day after Diwali last year.

The Supreme Court ruling banning the sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1 and the Punjab and Haryana high court order limiting the bursting of crackers to just three hours on Diwali night seemed to have had halted the pollution levels from spiralling to dangerous heights.

The suspended particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was five times the permissible limit of 60 microns on Friday, when last year, it was almost 13 times the permissible limit .

The AQI for Gurgaon was 397 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) and was marked ‘very poor’ on Friday while it was 283 mpcm on Thursday with prominent pollutant being PM2.5.

The PM 2.5 level was 280 µg/m³ on Thursday and it climbed to 302 µg/m³ on Friday.

Apart from the court orders, the weather too helped in dispersing the pollutants as winter is yet to come to the region. The maximum temperature on Friday was 36.3 degrees Celsius and the minimum was 20.6 degrees Celsius.

Certain pollutants were especially high a day after Diwali such as sulphur dioxide, which increased from 9.5 µg/m³ on Thursday to 16.50 µg/m³ on Friday. The Haryana state pollution control board (HSPCB) officials said sulphur dioxide and suspended particulate matter such as PM2.5 are pollutants released when crackers are burst. Noise pollution on Diwali was also a bit lower than the previous years.

Last year, on Diwali the highest noise level recorded was 65.7 Leq db (A) while this year it was 61.5 Leq db (A).

The officials said the situation is better this year as the graded response action plan was initiated in advance.

“Awareness programmes regarding pollution and extensive measures taken to lower the pollutants too have made a difference,” JB Sharma, regional officer, HSPCB, Gurgaon.

Meanwhile, as the air pollution is “poor”, doctors have advised residents to stay indoors and to use masks while going out . Respiratory problems are likely to increase after Diwali.

Dr Rajneesh Kapoor, senior director, interventional cardiology, Medanta - The Medicity Hospital, said, “There is a strong connection between bad air quality and heart diseases. Pollution can lead to inflammatory effects in the heart which can further rupture blood vessels, thereby causing high blood pressure or even heart failure. Increased exposure to PM 2.5 causes the heart chambers to enlarge and affects the performance of the heart. This leads to increased morbidity and mortality from heart disease.”

Health experts said loud noise can increase the risk of a heart attack by 30% in people with a pre-existing condition and much still needed to be done for the air quality to improve in the region.

Apart from poisonous gases, noise from crackers also affects the human body.

“Noise above 70 decibels can lead to stroke in heart patients. Bursting crackers can aggravate palpitation, dizziness, shortness of breath or sudden loss of consciousness for a brief period in those with irregular heartbeat. Both air and noise pollution can raise blood pressure, putting undue stress on the heart,” said BK Rajora, chief medical officer, Civil Hospital, Gurgaon.

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