Many areas also witness drastic reduction in dust particle levels; Triplicane bucks the trend
On a low-key Deepavali, both on aural and visual counts, the narrow streets of Triplicane recorded more pollution than other localities in the city. The level of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) touched a three year-high and stood at 537 microgram/cubic metre.
RSPM consists of dust particles that are lesser than 10 micron in size.
The residential area also recorded a high level of sulphur di-oxide(SO2), which touched 61 microgram/cubic metre. The permissible limit for RSPM is 100 microgram/cubic metre and for SO2 is 80 microgram/cubic meter.
Data provided by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board shows a dip in levels of pollution in Besant Nagar — 79microgram/cubic metre (171microgram/cubic metre last year), Sowcarpet — 197microgram/cubic metre (241 microgram/cubic metre) and T. Nagar — 105 microgram/cubic metre (231 microgram/cubic metre). Nungambakkam station alone saw a slight increase from 144 microgram/cubic metre to 159 microgram/cubic metre.
Noise levels also touched a high in Triplicane at 103 decibels.
This was followed by 101 decibels in Sowcarpet, T. Nagar (94 decibels), Nungambakkam (85 decibels), and Besant Nagar (80 decibels). TNPCB sources explained that the noise level data showed that many people had avoided noisy crackers.
Residents across the city said that bursting of crackers had come down this year. J. Prema, a resident of Kodungaiyur, said that there was not much noise and the smoke cover was also not very thick in her area. “On earlier occasions, even breathing would get difficult. But this year, Deepavali was just about enjoyable,” she said.
K.A.T. Balu of the George Town Tamil Nadu Vannikar Sangangalin Peramaippu, said that sales had come down as many children were not interested in buying crackers. “There are many distractions like films and games for youngsters these days,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Fireworks & Amorces Manufacturers Association President A. P. Selvarajan, said that production also had come down by 20 per cent this year.
“Though the monsoon was good, various factors including excess rains in some States and election announcements affected the sale. In the cities, branded crackers did do well but generally the market was down as were purchases. This is only a luxury item and not a necessity like clothes,” he said.
Mr. Selvarajan put the retail cracker sale of all brands at around Rs. 60 crore.