THE OVERALL air quality in Pune during the next three festive days of Diwali will range from moderate to poor, scientists at the System of Air Quality, and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) have predicted. On October 28 and 29, the air quality was moderate while SAFAR scientists have predicted poor air quality on October 30 and 31 (the worst air quality hours predicted between 8 pm and 1 am on October 30-October 31).The air quality will be moderate on November 1.
The most striking factor is that the share of particulate matter PM 2.5 (relatively more harmful than coarser particles like PM 10) is expected to increase by 10-20 per cent during Diwali period as compared to normal days. The share of PM2.5 will become 60-70 per cent, said Dr Gufran Beig,Project director, SAFAR.
Stable weather conditions will be prevailing in Pune, however, slight decrease in minimum temperature coupled with additional emissions from fire crackers during Diwali may lead to increased levels of particulate matter in the city. A combination of several weather parameters plays a significant role in controlling the air pollution. At present, the most dominating weather parameter is temperature, which if increases, although that is unlikely, can reduce the high levels of particulate matter quickly, Beig added.
SAFAR provides air quality forecast for 3 metropolitan cities –Delhi, Mumbai and Pune –using high-resolution atmospheric chemistry transport prediction model on supercomputer. SAFAR current and forecasted levels of air quality for Pune Metropolitan Region-PUNE is based on 10 air quality monitoring stations spread across Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad area in different micro-environments. High pollution levels are expected in areas of Shivajinagar, Katraj, Hadapsar, Bhumkar chowk, Nigdi, Bhosari while the least pollution is expected at Manjri.