Air quality too, to be monitored at five spots, during Deepavali

It’s a busy time of year for officials of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

A week head of Deepavali, they have begun measuring levels of noise and ambient air quality at five places in the city.

Monitoring stations have been established in thickly-populated areas like Besant Nagar, T. Nagar, Sowcarpet, Nungambakkam and Triplicane to collect dust samples before, during and after the festival. According to an official, noise levels will be recorded for six hours every evening and pollution levels, every 24 hours from 6 a.m.

“The Central Pollution Control Board has asked State bodies to collect data from across the country, beginning Tuesday. Apart from Chennai, pollution levels will be recorded at 10 district offices of the TNPCB — Madurai, Salem, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Hosur, Vellore, Tirupur, Tiruchy, Dindigul and Tirunelveli,” said an official.

TNPCB will also launch a campaign in the city and in other centres requesting residents to reduce bursting of firecrackers and bring down noise and air pollution levels. “We are asking residents to celebrate a green Deepavali. At the least, they must adhere to Supreme Court guidelines and not burst crackers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” the official said.

Last year, level of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) touched 1,423 microgram/cubic metre at Arumbakkam as against the permissible limit of 100 microgram/cubic metre. Noise levels had exceeded safe limits in the five places that were monitored.

Ayanavaram, which recorded 85.2 decibels (dB), was the noisiest. As per norms, the permissible noise level in residential areas is 45 dB during night time and 55 dB during the day. In commercial areas, it is 55 dB during the night and 65 dB during the day.

Sulphur dioxide levels varied from 29.5 microgram/cubic metre to 70.09 microgram/cubic metre against national ambient air quality (NAAQ) standards of 60 microgram/cubic metre. The level of nitrogen oxides was 86.42 microgram/cubic metre as against NAAQ standard of 50 microgram/cubic metre.

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