The drive by the authorities of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board and the city police to restrict the use of banned fireworks continued this Diwali, but little could be done to keep a check on the air pollution level with several indicators showing a marked rise since last year.

Damayanti Sen, Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Kolkata Police, said here on Thursday that 713 persons had been arrested for bursting banned fire-crackers. She also said that 883 kilograms of banned crackers were seized on Wednesday.  However, the levels of air-pollution rose significantly since last year.  According to the records of the WBPCB, the quantity of toxic gases such as Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulphur Dioxide recorded in the atmosphere was significantly higher this year.