Lungs and eardrums are at stake in city!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 7: The post-Diwali pollution level in some cities in the country is such that schools had to be closed in Delhi due to air pollution. Guwahati, the Gate Way to the Northeast, is not lagging behind when there are such negative growths. The post-Diwali pollution level in this polluted city is above its usual level. This is what the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) has found in its recent survey.
According to the survey, the presence of harmful compounds like sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), PM 10 etc., in Guwahati air is found to have risen. The data received from the six monitoring centres of the PCBA – at Bamunimaidam, Pragjyotish College at Bharalumukh, ITI-Guwahati complex, Central Dairy at Khapara, Gauhati University campus and Boragoan – say that the highest presence of SO2, reading 8 micro gram per cubic metre, was detected in the monitoring centre at Khapara Dairy before the Diwali, and the lowest, 5 micro gram per cubic metre, was detected at the monitoring centre at Boragaon. However, the presence of SO2 was detected the highest, 10 micro gram per cubic metre, at two monitoring centres at Pragjyotish College at Bharalumukh and Khapara during the Diwali.
The presence of NO2 during the pre-Diwali period was found the highest, 18 micro gram per cubic metre, at the monitoring centre at Bamunimaidam. However, the presence of NO2 jumped all of a sudden to 20 micro gram per cubic metre at Bamunimaidam monitoring centre during the Diwali. The highest presence of PM10, 124 micro gram was found at the centre at ITA Guwahati before the Diwali. It has almost doubled during the Diwali at the same monitoring centre, reading 235 micro gram per cubic metre. Increase in the presence of SO2, NO2 and PM10 in air may lead to various breathing-related diseases.
Likewise the level of noise pollution during the Diwali has also risen alarmingly in the city, rising up to 104 decibel at Panbazar in the city. At Ganeshguri, it rose to 94 decibel.
Laws prohibit Diwali revelers from doing anything that adds to air and sound pollution. Various government agencies and NGOs also appeal to the people not to do anything while celebrating Diwali that causes air and sound pollution. Do such prohibitory orders have any takers?
The Pollution Control Board conducted its tests last year in city areas like Santipur, Bamunimaidam, Gopith gar and Khapara before the Diwali. The findings of the test were alarming.
The presence of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in air in these areas was found to be 6 to 8.30 micro gm per cubic metre before the Diwali last year. However, the test conducted soon after the Diwali last year showed an increase of 12.20 micro gm per cubic metre to 14.90 micro gm per cubic metre in the presence of SO2 in air in these areas. Likewise, the presence of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) before the Diwali last year in these areas was 11.70 micro gm per cubic metre to 13.10 micro gm per cubic metre. However, it increased to 18.10 micro gm per cubic metre to 21.20 micro gm per cubic metre after the Diwali. The presence of dust particles (PM10) also increased after the Diwali.
On the other hand, the intensity of sound should be within the safe limit of 55 decibel from 6 am to 10 pm and 45 decibel from 10 pm to 6 am. Crackers are being burst throughout the night. According to the Environment Conservation Act, 1986, bursting of crackers producing 125 decibel is prohibited.
This year the Kamrup (M) district administration prohibited bursting of crackers after 10 pm. However, the prohibitory order was violated this year also.