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Bhubaneswar air pollution shoots up on Diwali

Revellers also breached the Supreme Court’s time window and sound limits

By Sandeep Mishra in Bhubaneswar
  • Published 9.11.18, 12:27 AM
  • Updated 9.11.18, 10:30 AM
  • 2 mins read
A girl burns a sparkler to celebrate Diwali in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Diwali celebrations pushed up the air pollution level here by a few notches despite the efforts of the city administration to ensure an eco-friendly festival.

While pushing up the pollution level, Diwali revellers also violated the Supreme Court direction to burst crackers only between 8pm and 10pm on Wednesday.

The suspended particulate matter mapped in six major areas of the city revealed the poor state of air quality.

According to data, the suspended particulate matter (SPM) remained at 197 microgram per metre cube at Unit VII on Wednesday. The count for the area was 132 microgram per metre cube on Tuesday, while at Master Canteen the figure was 186. The count was 149 on Tuesday.

Similarly, the SPM near Rama Devi Women’s University remained at 200 microgram per metre cube on Wednesday compared to 152 on Tuesday. At Infocity, the SPM count on the two consecutive days was 176 and 135, respectively. The SPM level mapped at KIIT Square was 186 on Wednesday and 156 on Tuesday.

According to standard norms, SPM should not exceed the 100 micro grams per metre cube mark. If it goes past 100, the level of air pollution is marked as severe.

“We did make the plea to follow the norms. Police have also penalised several persons for defying the apex court direction,” said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena. The pollution level, however, was not so alarming during last year’s Diwali. Last year’s data show that the SPM at Unit VIII was 141 microgram per meter cube, while at Palasuni and Unit I it were 123 and 108, respectively, after Diwali.

“The weather condition also contributed to the increasing pollution level besides bursting of crackers and the ongoing construction work in various parts of the city. We have compiled the data and will come up with plans to control the level of air pollution in the city,” said a senior official of the pollution control board.

Besides, hospitals across city also received cases of burns and patients complaining of respiratory trouble on Wednesday night.

At Capital Hospital three patients had come with minor burns and four with respiratory problems. “We had kept a special ward ready for such patients,” said hospital director Chitta Ranjan Das.

Patia resident Geetanjali Dash said that it seemed that people felt happy to break rules and cared less for adverse consequences.

“Bursting of crackers went on till late Wednesday night and it contributed in a big way to the air pollution. People need to get sensitised and act sensibly to save the environment,” said Dash, a schoolteacher.