Kerala

No major spike in pollution levels

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Dust cloud dispersed within 45 minutes of the blasts, says PCB official

Predictions on the environmental impact of the demolition of two apartment complexes on Saturday were near-perfect. In fact, the implosions that brought down Alpha Serene and Holy Faith H2O did not trigger dangerous dust or sound levels.

The emissions observed were as expected, said an official of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB). Dust was noticed in cloud form at the monitoring points and the emissions dispersed to normalcy within 45 minutes of the blasts, the official said.

The PCB will now study the impact to assess the approximate quantum of dust emitted by the demolition works. The study will be completed within a week.

It was noticed that some debris from the Alfa Serene residential complex fell into the backwaters but on inspection it was found that the quantum was not significant. However, monitoring of the water was conducted and the result will be out within a week.

“We had deliberately planned that some portion of the building (Alfa) should fall in the water. That was basically to protect the surrounding buildings,” PTI quoted the District Collector as saying. The maximum sound level observed during the blasts was 114 decibels for the whole monitoring period. This level compared well with the sound levels at events such as Thrissur Pooram, where decibel levels go up to 120 dB. The short duration blasts did not trigger a major sound pollution problem.

MGU study

The impact of dust on the quality of Kochi’s air, however, might have been much lesser than expected. The data, collected by a team of researchers from Mahatma Gandhi University, suggest that the value of PM 10 and PM 2.5, two major air pollutants, rose by just 1.75 times of the normal value during six hours after the implosions.

“The value of both these pollutants in the ambient air of Maradu outside the 200-metre exclusion zone was just around 100-160 ppp as against the average normal value of 60-120 ppp. This means the implosions had a rather minuscule impact on the quality of air than in similar instances elsewhere,” said C.T. Aravinda Kumar, Pro Vice Chancellor of the varsity, who heads the initiative.

He attributed this lesser impact of dust to the highly-scattered wind pattern reported during the day, causing a near equal-distribution of the dust.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 8:17:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/no-major-spike-in-pollution-levels/article30546282.ece

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