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More air pollution this Diwali: Maharashtra Pollution Control Board report

NASHIK: This Diwali, there has been a rise in the air pollution levels in the city as compared to last year, according to the reports of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).

The MPCB monitors the air before and during
Diwali every year to gauge the levels of air pollution during the festival. This year, it was found that there has been a significant rise in the pollution level.

Despite a dip in the sale of crackers, as observed by the president of the Nashik Firecrackers Association Jayprakash Jategaonkar, air pollution has been on the rise. The firecracker shop owners said that the sale of bigger crackers showed the maximum drop, they were unable to quantify the fall.

This year, the Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) was 176.9 microgram per cubic metre before Diwali and 236.2 microgram per cubic metre during Diwali; while the SOx (oxides of Sulphur) was 8.81 microgram per cubic meter before Diwali and 48.7 microgram per cubic meter during the festival. The NOx (oxides of Nitrogen) was 14.5 microgram per cubic meter before Diwali and 35.3 microgram after the festival.

Regional manager of the MPCB, A S Fulse said, "There has been an increase in air pollution during Diwali as compared to last year. This could be possible because people purchased more of fancy and noiseless crackers rather than the noisy ones. The 
RSPM and Sulphur levels have been higher this year."

Jagbir Singh of the Manav Utthan Manch (MuM), an NGO that conducted awareness campaigns before the festival to minimise the use of crackers, said, "It is wrong to believe that noiseless crackers do not cause pollution. They do not cause noise pollution but they definitely cause air pollution. Sulphur oxides are very harmful. We have noticed that while there has been less noise pollution from crackers this year, people have bought fancy crackers without noise."

The Times of India (07-11-2013)