KARNATAKA

Pollution levels during Deepavali alarm greens

Shankar Bennur

KSPCB monitored the ambient air quality and noise levels



Ambient air quality was monitored at K.R. Circle and Kuvempunagar

Noise level was monitored at Gokulam locality between 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.



MYSORE: The air and noise pollution levels in Mysore during last month’s Deepavali celebrations has alarmed organisations involved in environmental protection activities here since the ambient air quality and noise levels had crossed the permissible limits.

The regional office of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Mysore, which monitored the ambient air quality and noise on October 27, 28 and 29, the days when the city celebrated Deepavali, has come out with the results. The ambient air quality was monitored for 72 hours while the noise levels were monitored for 15 hours.

The ambient air quality was monitored at Krishnarajendra Circle, which is in the heart of the city, and the Government First Grade College, Kuvempunagar, which is in the midst of a residential locality.

“The results exceed the standards prescribed under National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring at the above places,” said KSPCB Regional Environment Officer B.S. Prakash.

The level of suspended particulate matter at K.R. Circle and Kuvempunagar on October 27 was 219 micrograms per cubic centimetre and 202 micrograms per cubic centimetre, respectively. On October 28 it was 235 and 307 respectively and on October 29 the levels were 309 and 322 respectively. The permissible limit is 200 micrograms per cubic centimetre.

The respirable suspended particulate matter at K.R. Circle and Kuvempunagar on October 27 was 118 micrograms per cubic centimetre and 121 micrograms per cubic centimetre, respectively. On October 28, it was 132 and 197 respectively and on October 29 it was 207 and 182 respectively. The permissible limit is 100 micrograms per cubic centimetre.

Mr. Prakash said the noise level was monitored at Gokulam locality on the three days between 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. On all three days, the noise levels exceeded the permissible limit of 31.6 decibels. It was 87.5 decibels on October 27, 82.4 decibels on October 28 and 86.2 decibels on October 29.

The maximum noise level of 87.5 decibels was registered on the first day of the festival.

The KSPCB had requested the public to refrain from bursting crackers such as atom bombs, hydrogen bombs. However, people went ahead and burst crackers.

Medical practitioners here say that noise above 85 decibels can lead to hearing damage, which will put the victim at risk of heart disease. According to information available, crackers are sometimes manufactured using barium sulphate, sodium nitrate, sulphur and potassium chlorate and when lit emit gases such as sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, oxides of heavy metals and particulate matter that pollute the air and cause eye irritation, respiratory disorders and allergies.

The Mysore City Police believe that air and noise pollution which was uncommon for a city like Mysore a few years ago, is on the rise thanks to the noticeable rise in the number of vehicles, especially two-wheelers.

Notably, adulteration of petrol and diesel has further escalated the levels of air pollution, according to the police. Vehicles that use air horns and altered silencers (exhaust pipes) emit sound beyond the permissible decibel levels creating a public health hazard.

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