The ambient air quality in the city took a beating this Deepavali festival with a sharp increase in particulate matter (PM10) due to the bursting of crackers, with some areas even witnessing more than 100 per cent rise in pollution as against normal day. According to the monitoring carried out by the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB), various areas recorded a sharp increase in particulate matter, the highest of which was witnessed at Panjagutta, at 476 micrograms per cubic metre, on Nov. 3. It is more than double the normal day reading of 158 as recorded on October 28 this year. “An average of 100 micrograms per cubic metre is the PM10 benchmark for Hyderabad,” said P. Ramachandra, senior environmental scientist, APPCB.
The highest spike was however recorded near KBR National Park, where the particulate matter shot up from a mere 23 micrograms per cubic metre on October 28 to 350 on festival day.
Similarly, at Abids the number went up from 52 to 337. Other areas like Nehru Zoological Park, Balanagar, Uppal, Jubilee Hills, etc., also were high, with some of the areas recording PM10 levels over 200.
The study by the APPCB also mentioned that the PM10 level in the city recorded on Deepavali day exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in all places in Hyderabad. Other aspects like Sulphuric oxide (SO2), and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) which are used as parameter to check the air quality, however, did not witness a sharp increase like PM10, and the readings were within the prescribed limits, i.e. within 80 micrograms per cubic metre.