Air quality measurements taken by a local think tank in various areas of Dehradun on Deepawali night reveal that the level of air pollution had increased by 10 to 15 times on the night. Further, the 8 PM to 10 PM time given for bursting of fireworks was also blatantly violated with crackers being burst well up to midnight. This was revealed in PM 2.5 and PM 10 measurements taken by the Gati Foundation in different areas of Dehradun on Deepawali night.
The foundation’s co-founder Ashutosh Kandwal and his team used a mobile machine to check the level of air pollution at Balliwala Chowk, Niranjanpur Mandi, Patelnagar, Saharanpur Chowk, Jhanda Chowk, Khudbuda Mohalla, Gandhigram, Govindgarh and Clock Tower. The level of air pollution in densely populated areas like Patelnagar and Gandhigram was found to be higher than a comparatively open area like Clock Tower.
Kandwal said that there would be lesser fireworks this year due to various awareness campaigns but this was not the case.
Firecrackers were also found to have set garbage dumps afire, adding to the pollution. Stray dogs and cattle scared of the noise were also seen running for shelter in different parts of the city.
According to the foundation the PM 2.5 and PM 10 measured in various areas was 550 and 724 at Balliwala Chowk, 649 and 888 in Niranjanpur Mandi, 859 and 1330 in Patelnagar, 759 and 1131 at Jhanda Chowk, 797 and 1235 at Gandhigram and 342 and 431 respectively at Clock Tower on Deepwali night. Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) stated that it is in the process of compiling data on noise and air pollution on Deepawali in various towns of the State. The compiled data will be made public in a few days.