Watchdog widens Diwali noise net

The Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) has identified 12 places in and around Jamshedpur for its noise pollution survey and another five to monitor ambient air quality in the run-up to Diwali this year.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 13.10.17
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Students of Carmel School, Dhanbad, rally against noisy firecrackers on Thursday. More than 600 students of Classes VIII to XII took part in the campaign. Picture by Gautam Dey

The Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) has identified 12 places in and around Jamshedpur for its noise pollution survey and another five to monitor ambient air quality in the run-up to Diwali this year.

The annual campaign against the decibel demon and foul air began at the JSPCB's regional office in Adityapur on Thursday and data will be collated for comparison with a similar survey after the October 19 festivities.

"This year's survey will be done in a more organised manner. Noise monitoring will be carried out in a dozen - instead of around 10 - residential, commercial and industrial zones, besides silence pockets. Air quality will be checked at two additional points apart from our three monitoring stations in Bistupur, Golmuri and Adityapur," said Suresh Paswan, the pollution control board's regional officer.

Paswan said teams had been constituted to conduct the twin surveys twice over - once before Diwali and then after the festival.

"To assess the ambient air quality, they will use respirable dust samplers. These help gauge the amount of suspended particles in air, apart from gases such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. The gases are analysed to determine the concentration of a specific pollutant," he explained.

The decibel check will be carried out at usual survey points in Sakchi, Bistupur, Golmuri, Sonari, Kadma and Adityapur, including Tata Main Hospital (in Bistupur) and the new civil court premises in Bhuyandih. Portable noise meters will be used.

Paswan said the data would be sent to the Ranchi headquarters, which will then forward the same to the Central Pollution Control Board.

The regional office plans to publish decibel directives in vernacular dailies in the next couple of days, asking people not to burst noisy firecrackers (beyond 125dB) and refrain from loud revelry after 10pm.

Last year, Sakchi roundabout - a crowded commercial centre - had topped the noise charts with 108dB on Diwali night while the respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) was a shocker at another commercial hub, Golmuri, which had scored 203µg/m3 (microgram per cubic metre).

Under central norms, the permissible decibel level in a commercial zone is 55dB between 10pm and 6am and the prescribed RSPM in ambient air is 100µg/m3.