Capital shows the way, better air quality post Diwali

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The capital city has been faring better in air quality this festive season. While it did adversely last year, the statistics this year are encouraging. The air quality index (AQI) stands at 68, which has been recorded as ‘satisfactory’ on the day of Diwali. The air quality last year had hit a low, with the quality being dubbed as ‘moderate’ and AQI standing at 113. 

The bulletin which provides the AQI in major cities is based on the average of the past 24 hours. The air quality level is recorded in six categories: good, satisfactory, moderate, poor, very poor and severe. PM2.5 has been cited as the prominent pollutant. It refers to the atmospheric particulate matter which has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres.

The health impacts of ‘satisfactory’ air quality involve “minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people”. The other cities which fared ‘satisfactory’ in terms of air quality in the south include Vijayawada, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Rajamahendravaram, Solapur and Vijayawada.

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has been monitoring the air quality and a report on the quality of air is being prepared in the backdrop of the festival. “The quality of the air before the festival and after is monitored and a statewide report is being prepared. We have been campaigning towards ensuring a pollution-free festive season and although better air quality has been observed when compared to last year, we are waiting for all the data to arrive before coming to a conclusion. The air quality post-Diwali is also being monitored,” says S Sreekala, member secretary, KSPCB. 

Dr John Panicker, chairman of National Initiative for Safe Sound, said a general improvement has been found this year. “Although we didn’t study the amount of noise this time, according to reports, the noise has drastically reduced. I was in Delhi during Diwali and a considerable change was observed. We believe the campaigns have become effective, especially those held among school kids. The noise level is markedly reduced,” says Dr Panicker. But mere campaigning won’t suffice, and enforcement is the key, he said.

“Everyone should be aware of the serious health issues of exposure to noise. Also, the stress must be on enforcement. A noise rule is on the way and noise violation is also being included in the police Act. With this, 2020 will be an excellent year for Kerala,” he added.

Let's block ads! (Why?)