After monitoring the air quality index of major cities in the state, the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board’s data shows that air quality improved in four out of five cities in the state on Diwali this year compared to last year.
Only the capital city of Dehradun reported a dip of 14.2% in air quality index this year.
The pollution control board monitored air quality during Diwali in five major cities of Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kashipur, Haridwar and Haldwani.
The board monitored indices like PM 2.5, PM 10, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
SP Subudhi, member secretary of the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board said, “Except Dehradun, all other cities have shown improvement in air quality this year on Diwali when compared to last year, even if it was marginal. In Dehradun, the air quality dipped by 14.2% with an increase in PM 2.5 and PM 10. From our analysis, we understand that the increase in the level of air pollution in Dehradun is due to the bursting of crackers.”
The data released by the pollution control board states that this year the air quality improved by 39% in Rishikesh, 15.4% in Kashipur and around 2% in Haldwani and Haridwar compared to last year on Diwali day.
“The improvement of air quality in other cities shows the seriousness of citizens towards an important issue like air pollution. In Haridwar, levels of only PM 10 had increased this year, which can be traced to dust from road construction and development activities underway in the area,” added Subudhi.
According to records, the cumulative air quality index of all five cities this year was registered to be 296 (poor category) compared to 326 last year, with an improvement of around 9.5%.
In Dehradun, the two-hour limit fixed by the Uttarakhand government for the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali went up in smoke, with people bursting crackers from evening till the wee hours of Sunday.
In an order issued on November 11, the state government had allowed sale and bursting of only green crackers from 8 pm to 10 pm in six cities — Dehradun, Haridwar, Kashipur, Rudrapur, Rishikesh and Haldwani. It has allowed bursting of green crackers from 6 am to 8 am on Chhat Puja on November 20.