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| Last Updated:15/10/2019

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This Diwali saw a 32% dip in air pollution

BANGALORE: If statistics are anything to go by, Bangalore is breathing somewhat easy this post-Diwali season. Compared to previous Diwali, the city saw a drop of 32% in air pollution levels during the festivities this year, reveals a Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) report. The air quality was monitored between November 2 and 4.

Days before the festival, the board had started a campaign where it got school students to pledge that they will celebrate a cracker-free Diwali. Of the 13 locations tracked, nine registered a dip in respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM) levels. City Railway station leads the chart with a 67.7% dip, followed by Kalasipalya (53.2%), SG Halli (40%), Hoskote (34%) and 
Central Silk Board (32.7%). The data was collected from various locations, including residential, industrial, sensitive and mixed urban areas (commercial and residential).

However, not all areas fared as well. For instance, Lakkasandra near Nimhans witnessed the highest pollution levels during the three days. The levels touched 107% (sulphur dioxide) and 35% (RSPM). KSPCB scientific officer B Nagappa, who compiled the data, told TOI that compared to normal days, the air pollution levels rose by 34%. The board attributed this increase to three key pollutants - sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM). All three are considered to be equally harmful for health. In fact, over-inhalation of sulphur dioxide can even lead to death, say medical experts. Even Hoskote residential area, Mysore Road, KHB Industrial area, Victoria Hospital in Kalasipalya and Nagarbhavi registered a jump in sulphur dioxide levels by 36.5%, 30.2%, 23.5%, 2.8% and 9.6% respectively.


RSPM refers to fine particles which on their own or in combination with other air pollutants can cause respiratory problems. Higher levels of RSPM can cause acute respiratory symptoms like aggravated coughing, painful breathing, chronic 
bronchitis, decreased lung function, aggravatedasthma and even premature death.

In Yeshwantpur, North Bangalore, the RSPM levels were as high as 117 micrograms per cubic meter, an increase of 76% compared to last year's Diwali. Lakkasandra and Victoria Road recorded an increase of 35.1% and 29% respectively.

But out of 13 locations, nine locations saw a dip in RSPM levels. City Railway station leading the chart with a dip in 67.7%, followed by Kalasipalya (53.2%), SG halli (40%), Hoskote (34%) and Central Silk Board (32.7%).

The Times of India (07-11-2013)