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Thane saw cracker-free Diwali but air quality remained poor

The Air Pollution Index for the city this year was more than 90%

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2018 00:33 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Thane diwali,Thane pollution,Diwali air pollution
Crackers being burst on Diwali at Kopri in Thane.(HT Photo)

Though Thane residents celebrated a quieter Diwali this year, there was no relief in air pollution.

The Air Pollution Index for the city this year was more than 90%.

“The Air Pollution Index is over 90 percent more than the normal limit of 25 %. The API index at Teen Hath Naka was 127 % followed by 111 % at Kopri. This indicates that the air is extremely polluted and not fit for breathing,” said an official from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).

While most residents adhered to the Supreme Court directives on time restriction, bursting of smoke emitting crackers increased this year, leading to increase in air pollution levels.

A TMC official said, “As per the data of our real-time weather monitoring system, the air pollution levels were the highest during the three days of Diwali from November 7 to November 9. The pollution levels were the highest around 9pm. The data was collected from four spots — Teen Hath Naka, Naupada ward office, Kopri ward office and Raptacos Brett and Company in Vartak Nagar.”

The level of repairable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) is 226, lower than last year’s 311.

The official said, “The permissible RSPM limit is ug/mg3. The RSPM increases to two-fold during Diwali as compared to normal days. The suspended particles were the highest at Kopri at 218 ug/m3 followed by 216 ug/mg3 at Teen Hath Naka.”

The suspended particles cause allergies, asthama and respiratory ailments. Fancy crackers do not emit sound but the smoke leads to air pollution.

Thane-based environmentalist Vidhyadhar Walavalkar said, “The air pollution levels were less on the first day of Diwali on November 6. However, the levels increased on the day of Laxmi puja. Residents refrained from bursting crackers, but there was lot of crackers burst in commercial areas such as markets Naupada and Kopri.”

Walavalkar said there was a positive change seen this year as most housing societies did not burst crackers. “This should continue every year. It is necessary to educate people on the impact of firecrackers on our air quality,” he added.

First Published: Nov 11, 2018 00:33 IST