Air pollution levels enter the red zone

Despite the celebrations being a low-key affair

October 20, 2017 12:59 am | Updated 07:33 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

As the citizens celebrated Deepavali, the festival of lights, by bursting a variety of crackers and fireworks, air pollution levels went up several times higher than the standard levels, on Thursday night.

As per the AP Pollution Control Board’s Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS), the amount of fine suspended particulate matter (SPM2.5) which is considered hazardous was 535 micrograms against the standard 60 micrograms per cubic metre at around 8.30 p.m. on Thursday. Also, the amount of particle pollution (PM10) was 653 micrograms against the standard 100 micrograms per cubic metre.

The amount PM2.5 and PM 10 which was around 106 micrograms and 66 micrograms at around 3.30 p.m., gradually increased in the evening as more number of people began bursting crackers.

The observations were drawn by the advanced and automated ambient air quality monitoring system installed at the Municipal Guest House on the M.G. Road. The annual averages of the amount of both the suspended particulate matter have always been above the standard levels for the past many years, according to the PCB.

Meanwhile, the amount of SPM 10 recorded at the air quality monitoring stations located at Auto Nagar, Benz Circle and the Police Control Room was close to the standard level. Only the SPM 10 level at the Police Control Room crossed the standard level in the evening.

Online campaigns

The celebrations were a low-key affair in many areas of the city.

While high prices of the fireworks were the main reason behind the poor sales, there was also impact of the online campaigns on eco-friendly and pollutionless Deepavali, say traders.

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