Delhi is facing on of the worst cases of air pollution in the recent history. The festive season anomalies and the shifting cultivation techniques in Punjab and Haryana are being blamed for it. Let us see the impact of festivities on the air pollution of Delhi and beyond.
Air Pollution during festive season
- Increase in travelling during the festive season.
- Increased demand for sweetmeats require large burning of fuel – through big-bhattis.
- Large number of lamps burning simultaneously at once.
- Indiscriminate burning of crackers emits toxic gases such as sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.
- The sparkle of different colours consist of large number of heavy metals which are highly toxic.
Impact of bursting of crackers
- Increase in disposable income of people in cities lead to exhibitionism and burning of crackers is one aspect of it.
- During this time the climate is such that there is heavy air descending over the city because of lowering of temperature. The wind velocity will also be very low and so the air remains stagnant and the pollutants are not allowed to disperse.
- There is a sudden drop in night temperature this year as compared to the last year. Last year the pollution levels during night were 6 times more than the normal level which was slightly better than 2014 and in 2013 it reached the record high level of pollution. Therefore, the smog formation has been boosted this time.
- The permissible levels are 80 micro grams per cubic meter for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. 100 micro grams per cubic meter for PM10 and 60 micro grams per cubic meter for PM2.5.
Pollution caused by imported crackers
- Most of the imported Chinese crackers contain potassium chlorate which is very poisonous. The fanciness of the crackers by injecting metal elements which causes multiple colours is the one which is more dangerous.
- The outside crackers do not have any control over the noise level and it goes to around 150 db and during night it becomes difficult for people to sleep.
- All this leads to obliteration of long distance visibility which is resulting into accidents and delay in aircraft. It has enormous cost in terms of health and money.
Need of the Hour
- Ban the imported crackers and enforce strict regulations.
- Indigenous production should be controlled according to the prescription in terms of quantity of pollutants and the bursting noise level.
- The individual celebration should give rise to collective and community celebration.
- One of the major centres of production in India is Sivakasi so it is important to regulate the production with the help of State Government.
- Better regulation and proper investigation before they are sold in the market that the products conform to the prescribed regulatory standards.
- Encourage earthen lamps rather than using electronic lamps.
- We need to convey to the society the real time information about the health problems that arise out of this peak festival occasion.
We should continue the campaign rather than having one-time campaign and further enlarge upon it. People have to be reminded again and again about the perils of burning crackers during the festive season. We shall also undertake community participation and religious leaders to avoid antipathy with the religious sentiments.
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