Guwahati Air Quality deteriorates despite use of Green Crackers
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Guwahati Air Quality deteriorates despite use of Green Crackers

Hiranya Barman | November 10, 2018 12:40 hrs

GUWAHATI: With Diwali celebrations coming to an end, citizens now find themselves vulnerable to the threat posed by the degrading air quality - the threat which is still lingering in the air we are breathing.

The Diwali celebrations in Guwahati have breached standard air quality parameters even though the celebrations turned out to be less noisy than last year.

The Pollution Control Board, Assam, through its report on ambient air quality monitoring on November 6 in the city found presence of 186 mg/m3 of PM10 (course particle) against standard parameters of 100 mg/m3 of PM10 particle. There was presence of 299 mg/m3 of PM10 particle on November 7. Last year 108 mg/m3 PM10 particle were found present in air during Diwali celebrations.

Pollution Control Board officials raised concerns about the presence of high levels of fine particles (PM2.5) in the air during Diwali celebrations in the city.

November 6 saw presence of 149 mg/m3 of PM 2.5 particles in the air against standard parameters of 60 mg/m3. Air quality of Guwahati degraded 4 times on November7. The day recorded presence of 240 mg/m3 of PM 2.5 in the air.
 
“Although the noise level during Diwali Celebrations had comparatively come down from last year, the air quality is in a very hazardous state. The authorities, to a level, were able to bring down the noise level but more innovative ideas are the need of the hour to improve the air quality. While the crackers that were made available during Diwali made lesser noise, they were very strong emitters of smoke,” PCBA Principal Scientist, Monoj Saikia said.

“The colours in the fireworks are created using metal salts. Calcium chloride is used for the orange colour, sodium nitrate for the yellow colour, barium chloride for the green colour and copper chloride for the blue colour. Use of these metals in fireworks can cause diseases in living beings. Sulphur dioxide causes sneezing and shortness of breath, cadmium can damage kidneys, copper irritates the respiratory tract and lead affects the nervous system,” Saikia added.
The Pollution Control Board carried out a report on ambient noise monitoring during Diwali festival at Panbazar, Rehabari and Ganeshguri in the city before and during Diwali celebrations.

Panbazar is designated as Silence Zone, Rehabari as Residential Zone and Ganeshguri as Commercial Zone.

This year on November 6 Panbazar recorded 69.9 decibel against 71.3 decibel last year and 75.4 decibel on November 7. The noise standard in silence zone is set at 50 decibel.

Rehabari recorded 69.3 decibel on November 6 and 76.1 decibel on November 7 this year against 79.8 decibel last year. The noise standard in Residential Zone is set at 55 decibel.

Ganeshguri recorded 70.3 decibel on November 6 and 71.8 on November 7 compared to 79.1 last year. The noise standard in commercial Zone is set at 65 decibel.

Call for more efforts

Pollution Control Board officials are calling for more inclusive efforts to improve air quality and in a way bring about total ban on crackers.

“All living in the society will have to come forward to improve the air quality. It is degrading day and night in the city. We would soon be making headlines like Delhi if we don’t improve. The smog that is still enveloping the air has hazardous particles in it and is slowly poisoning people. There was no sign of using green crackers this year. We can see animals in shock even 10 -15 days after Diwali due to the noise pollution on the two days,” officials said.

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Standard air quality parameter breached during Diwali in Guwahati | G Plus Photo

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