The bursting of crackers on Diwali may not have raised noise levels but did end up affecting the ambient air quality in the city. Clearly, even without noisy crackers, high emissions of particulate matter such as flower pots, sparkler etc. did much to hinder air quality .
Data collated by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) on November 13 showed that Particulate Matter (PM10) exceeded by 133 per cent as against the National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 100 microgram per cubic metre. Compared to the normal day value, the PM10 was also up by 71 per cent.
Two other key parameters, Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) though remained within prescribed standards of 80 microgram per cubic metre, were found to have gone up by 33 per cent and 32 per cent respectively when compared to normal day values. The APPCB pointed out that compared to the increase in noise levels, the PM10 increase has been very high on Diwali day and this could be due to the ‘bursting of crackers with no noise but high emission of particulate matter’. The highest rise of the PM10 was recorded at Abids where it zoomed to 311 micrograms per cubic metre followed by Kukatpally (285) and Punjagutta (282).