States took measures to curb pollution; Delhi fails to tackle the problem

21 October, 2017

The state government took the strong measures to curb the problem of pollution on Diwali. However, the national capital fails to tackle the problem.

An analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has shown that despite the cracker ban, air pollution levels breached the emergency standards on Diwali night. But it is also clear that without the ban on sale of firecrackers, the levels would have been far worse. Calm wind and more moisture in the air on the post-Diwali morning worsened the pollution build-up.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE, said: “It is clear that the Delhi-NCR region requires a longer term and systemic action than a one-off ban. The Supreme Court has already ordered a phase down strategy with the help of regulation of chemicals, standards, reduced quantum of crackers, controlled bursting of crackers through community events, locational controls. This must be implemented without delay for a longer term solution to the problem.”

Night time pollution in Delhi and NCR towns has been three to four times higher than the day time pollution on Diwali day. During the day (about 13 hour average – 6 am to 7 pm) the levels in Delhi and NCR town of Gurugram and Gaziabad were in very poor category (Delhi - 139 microgramme per cu m; Gurugram -121 microgramme per cu m; and Gaziabad -142 microgramme per cu m).

However, during Diwali night (about 12 hour average - 7PM to 7AM) the levels in Delhi, Gurugram and Gaziabad were in emergency level. (Delhi- 548 microgramm per cu m; Gurugram – 382 microgramme per cu m; Gaziabad – 501 microgramem per cu m).

Delhi has already witnessing the pollution problem as the city has more than 80 lakh of vehicles. And even the vehicles from the neighboring states enter in the national capital recorded more than 5 lakhs.

The residents of Delhi should have refrained themselves for bursting crackers but the Delhiietes didn’t bother about the problem. Even a recent study has shown that pollution claims more life in India as compare to the HIV/AIDS.

If we talk about Chandigarh, the restrictions imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on bursting of crackers brought a huge relief to the city residents this Diwali with the levels of air and noise pollution seeing a steep decline, the lowest in five years.

As per the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC), air pollution reduced to half this year as compared with the pollution level recorded on Diwali last year.

The noise levels at the three locations also saw a fall. Between 9 pm and 10 pm, it was recorded at 84.8 decibel (dB) in Sector 22 this year against 86.3 dB last year. The last four Diwali days saw a continuous rise in the air and noise pollution levels. 

In Punjab, the pollution levels across the state this Diwali have significantly declined as compared to last year, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) said on Friday.

The air quality analysis by the PPCB shows that the pollution level had increased by just 24 per cent this Diwali, compared to a 70 per cent increase last year, the board said here.

Last year, the state’s air quality index (AQI) a day ahead of Diwali was recorded at 130. It increased by 70 per cent, to 228, on the day of the festival, the data released by the PPCB said.