The city witnessed a significant dip in the level of air pollution on Diwali as compared to last year, though the level exceeded the permissible limit. Noise pollution, however, was found to be on the higher side vis-a-vis last year, according to data gathered by Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC).
The data were gathered from three different locations — residential, commercial and silence zone — between 8 pm and 10 pm. CPCC had installed equipment in the residential area of Sector 22 and in the commercial area of Sector 17 for collecting data. In the silence zone, equipment was installed 100 meters away from the dispensary in Sector 29.
The level of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) was recorded on the lower side at all the three locations as compared to last year. The permissible limit of RSPM is 100 microgram per cubic metre (mcg/cu m).
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This year, the level of RSPM was 124 mcg/cu m as compared to 218 mcg/cu m in 2014. Similarly, in the silence zone, the level of RSPM was 189 mcg/cu m, which was 260 mcg/cu m in 2014. In the commercial area, RSPM was recorded at 102 this year, as compared to 185 last year.
Levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at all the locations were within the permissible limit, that is, 80 mcg/cu m.
The sound levels exceeded the permissible limits— 5 DB (a) during night and 55 DB (A) during day— at all the locations. The level of noise pollution was highest in Sector 22 between 9 pm and 10 pm with a reading of 85.8 DB (A), which was 82.9 DB (A) last year. In Sector 29, the level of noise pollution was recorded at 83 DB (A). Last year, the noise pollution was recorded at 75 DB (A) in Sector 29. Sector 17 had minimum noise pollution between 9 pm and 10 pm with a figure of 67.2 DB (A), which was 65. 8 DB (A) last year.
Director (Environment) Santosh Kumar said that the level of air pollution in the city on Diwali had decreased over the past years. Attributing the results to sustained campaigns carried out for the past five years, Kumar said that they would continue to bring down the level of air pollution within the permissible limit.