Curtailed fireworks time fails to curb pollution
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The move by SGPC to reduce the time of the fireworks show from 15 minutes to 10 minutes during Bandi Chhor Diwas and Diwali celebrations has not paid any dividends with pollution levels registering an increase in and around Golden Temple on Diwali day.
The data generated by Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) reveals that the increase in respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) this year between pre-Diwali monitoring and on the day of Diwali was 201 points as compared to the corresponding increase of 195 points last year.
The samples of pollutants recorded around Golden Temple on Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System device during pre-Diwali monitoring on November 6 showed RSPM levels at 189 points, which increased to 390 points on Diwali day.
Last year, the increase was 195 points, when Pre-Diwali (on 21 October, 2011) and Diwali day (on 26 October, 2011) monitoring figures of RSPM were 207 and 402, respectively. Not only RSPM, other pollutants like oxides of Nitrogen and Sulphur Dioxide also registered an increase as compared to pre-Diwali and Diwali day monitoring. The increase in oxides of Nitrogen this year between pre-Diwali monitoring and on the day of Diwali was 19 points, as compared to 11 points last year. Sulphur Dioxide increase was 14 points as compared to 13 points last year. Even noise level increased by a point this year as compared to last year.
PPCB Executive Engineer Jaswant Singh Randhawa attributed the increase in the level of pollutants on Diwali day to firecracker shows in and around Amritsar.