Pune’s air quality deteriorates during Diwali
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Pune’s air quality deteriorates during Diwali

One of the main reasons for worsening in the air quality, according to experts, was bursting of firecrackers despite Supreme Court’s restriction on bursting of crackers for two hours between 8 pm to 10 pm

pune Updated: Nov 09, 2018 14:41 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,air quality,Diwali
People seen in a festive mood as they celebrate Diwali by bursting firecrackers in Kothrud on Wednesday. (Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

Even as Pune’s air quality had improved in last week, it again partially deteriorated on Wednesday, the main day of Diwali. One of the main reasons for worsening in the air quality, according to experts, was bursting of firecrackers despite Supreme Court’s (SC) restriction on bursting of crackers for two hours between 8 pm to 10 pm.

The air quality in Pune had improved sharply from moderate to satisfactory during first week of November because of considerable changes in the atmosphere and rains that city witnessed. The levels of particulate matter (PM )2.5 and PM 10 tiny particulate matter that can reach deep into the lungs and cause major health problems, sharply decreased and settled around 100.

Maharashtra pollution control data revealed that PM10 particles level were found to be 78 g/m3 at 8 pm, while the permissible limit is 100 g/m3. At the same time PM 2.5 particles level were at 103 g/m3 even as the permissible limit is 60 g/m3.

This improvement in air quality is attributed to atmospheric changes ahead of Diwali. Gufan Beig, project director of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said, “Due to changes in atmosphere like rainfall related activity,we have observed improved air quality before Diwali, otherwise it could have gone much bad.” However, Beig predicted that,air quality will start improving after Diwali by November 9. During this week Pune witnessed rainy days.On November 5, Pune city had received 3.9 mm rainfall in the entire day hence air particulate significantly dropped.

Air pollution soars high during Diwali due to the bursting of firecrackers at Chinchwad link road in Pune. (HT PHOTO)

Nitin Shinde, sub-regional officer, Maharashtra pollution control board (MPCB), said, “Reduced vehicular traffic on road and rainfall are two important factors due to which there percentage of PM10 and PM 2.5 in air reduced ahead of Diwali. As far as noise level is concerned it also shows declining result after restriction on firecrackers bursting. So it means,this year Punekars are celebrating Green Diwali.” However, authorities warn that burning of firecrackers will reach its peak in the next few days.

FALLING AIR QUALITY

Cracker sales drops down in Pune

Even as the sale of firecrackers during Diwali festival dropped down after restriction from Supreme Court, on Laxmi Pujan day Punekars preferred to burst firecrackers between 8 to 10 pm on a large scale which resulted in deterioration of air quality on second day of Diwali.

Wholesale dealers and retail crackers outlets in city say there has been a 30 to 40 per cent decline in sales when compared with the previous year.“We have been seeing a decline in sale of crackers from the past few years. But after the Supreme Court’s order,we have seen very poor response. It seems that, people are losing interest in bursting fire crackers,” said the owner of Jogeshwari Fireworks in Budhwar Peth.

However, Harish Jalan,president of firecrackers association Pune said there is no decline in sale of firecrackers in city. He said, “There is no decline in the sale of fire crackers this year. In fact people are bursting crackers in stipulated hours .”

First Published: Nov 09, 2018 14:40 IST