The concerted campaign against use of firecrackers in the Capital produced mixed results this Deepawali. While noise levels at some locations in the city was higher, the air pollution level was generally found to be lower compared with last Diwali owing to favourable meteorological conditions.

The only exception being an increase in sulphur dioxide levels in the atmosphere at some locations due to use of sulphur-containing crackers. However, the concentration of sulphur dioxide at all the locations was well within the prescribed standard.

The findings of a study by the Central Pollution Control Board also revealed that concentration of all pollutants, including noise, was at its peak from 9 p.m. to midnight. Compared with last year, noise levels increased at three of the nine select locations monitored in the city, while it decreased at one and remained around the same at the remaining five locations.

The maximum noise level was found to have reduced to 82 dBA this year from 85dBA in 2008.

The CPCB carried out ambient noise level monitoring at nine locations in Delhi namely Lajpat Nagar, East Arjun Nagar, Mayur Vihar (Phase II), Pitampura, Kamla Nagar, Dilshad Garden, Ansari Nagar (AIIMS), Connaught Place and ITO between 6 p.m. and 12 midnight on September 30 and repeated it on Diwali day to facilitate a comparison between the two sets of data.

On the same line, an intensive ambient air monitoring programme at seven select locations namely Connaught Place, Mayur Vihar Phase II, AIIMS, Pitampura, Lajpat Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Dilshad Garden, ITO and East Arjun Nagar was also carried out.

Similarly round-the-clock ambient air quality monitoring was done at seven monitoring stations of CPCB under the National Air Monitoring Programme at ITO, Pitampura, Siri Fort, Janakpuri, Shahzada Bagh, Shahdara and Nizamuddin.

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