Pollution Down This Diwali in Delhi But Noise Level Up
Air pollution declined in the capital this Diwali as compared to last year but noise level rose marginally due to bursting of more loud crackers.

Data released by Delhi Government and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) board showed that air pollution, particularly levels of pollutants in the air, was much lower this Diwali compared to that last year.

The CPCB had monitored ambient air at seven locations while ambient noise monitoring was undertaken at nine locations across the city. The Environment Department of Delhi Government had also monitored air pollution in five locations.

Data obtained from eleven on-line stations were also taken into account while finalising the findings.

The CPCB, in a statement, said noise level during Diwali yesterday showed a slight increase at three locations, decreased at three, while there was no change at remaining three locations as compared to noise level during the festival of light on November 5 last year.

Levels of 'particulate matter and respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM)' showed substantial decrease this time as compared to last year.

"The levels of particulate matter in the air have shown decreasing trend at all the locations yesterday as compared to 2010. RSPM values yesterday ranged between 416 and 635 microgram per cubic metre as compared to 704 and 1350 microgram per cubic metre during Diwali last year."

Delhi Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra said that sustained campaign by the city government and an appeal by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to celebrate a pollution-free Diwali led to the decline in pollution level.

"The Chief Minister motivated the citizens, youth and students to make a campaign against fire crackers a grand success, which resulted in substantial decrease in air pollution across Delhi," he said.

The CPCB said ambient noise level monitoring was carried out at Lajpat Nagar, Mayur Vihar (Phase-II), Pitampura, Kamla Nagar, Dilshad Garden, East Arjun Nagar, Ansari Nagar, Connaught Place and ITO between 6 pm and 12 am.

Air pollutant levels were found to be lower as compared to 2010 Diwali and CPCB said the lower pollution could be due to favourable meteorological conditions.

The avarage temperature yesterday was 26.4 degree Celsius as compared to average temperature of 21.2 degree C on November 05, 2010. It could also be due to increase in wind speed to 1.1 m/sec yesterday from 0.9 m/sec in 2010, said CPCB.

Delhi government monitored air quality at IGI Airport, Civil Lines, Mandir Marg, R K Puram and Punjabi Bagh.

Chandra said the concentration of the pollutants has shown a decline this year as compared to last year.

"This may be attributed to concerted and sustained anti-fire cracker campaign and active participation of citizens of Delhi in favour of the campaign. There has been far less concentration of the pollutants as measured and monitored scientifically," he said.

He said carbon monoxide level yesterday ranged from 1.2 mg per cubic metre to 2.05 mg per cubic metre against last year's range of 0.87 to 9.75 mg per cubic metre. The maximum carbon monoxide level was recorded at Punjabi Bagh.

On levels of nitrogen oxide (NO2), he said the average concentration of NO2 varied from 59.64 - 133.4 micro gram per cubic metre and levels of NO2 at all four locations were lower than the levels found during last year's Diwali.

He said the levels of sulphur dioxide yesterday varied from 34.58 to 42.9 micro gram per cubic metre against last year's range of 26.0 to 73.5 micro gram per cubic metre.

Chandra said Delhiites were able to keep the pollution level lower than last year.
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