The exposure to air and noise pollution caused by firecrackers and other explosives used during Diwali celebration yesterday evening put human health at risk, claimed L Radhakishore, Chairman of Manipur Pollution Control Board.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said the pollution levels worsened this morning due to calm wind and higher moisture in the air - as was predicted.
On Diwali night pollution in Delhi breached emergency levels and the air quality has progressively deteriorated, but compared to previous year, the city was relatively better off, the pollution monitoring agencies today concurred.
According to preliminary information, the level of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 was 5 times above the permissible limit on Thursday Night and Friday morning.
Upsettingly, PM10 and PM2.5 levels-amid and after Diwali festivities in a few areas of the national capital-went as high as more than 24 times and about 15 times, respectively, as far as possible even this year. Contrary to Sharma's claims the pollution level has crossed unsafe level in the city on the Diwali night.
"It was observed that positive outcome of the anti-fire cracker campaign was that School children have increasingly become aware of the need to celebrate Diwali with Diyas, instead of firecrackers", the ministry said. RK Puram monitoring station recorded PM2.5 and PM10 at 878 and 1,179 micrograms per cubic metre at around 11 pm.
The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city glowed red, indicating a "very poor" air quality as the volume of ultra fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 7 pm on Thursday.
While it is hard to quantify the immediate effect of the ban on firecrackers, residents across the national capital felt the beginning was promising with neighbourhods reporting much lesser noise and smoke till about 6 pm, compared to the previous years. According to HSPCB officials, the noise meters were installed at Bus stand, Atul Kataria Chowk and IMT Manesar.