Air pollution during the three days of Deepavali this year fell by 30.34% compared with the corresponding days in 2019 and by a whopping 46.7% compared to normal day pollution levels.
Data provided by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) shows that the average ambient air quality (AQI) of three days — from November 14 to 16 — showed a big drop in the amount of pollutants at seven monitoring stations across the city.
In a note, KSPCB member secretary Srinivasulu observed that the AQI value at the KSR Bengaluru railway station at Majestic, Veterinary College (Hebbal), Kavika (Mysuru Road) and Nimhans remained satisfactory (51-100). At the other three monitoring stations at SG Halli, Jayanagar 5th Block and Central Silk Board, the AQI dropped below 50, falling into the ‘Good’ category.
“The ambient air quality measured at seven Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations reveals that the average reduction of AQI value is 46.7 during Deepavali 2020 in Bengaluru city,” the KSPCB said, comparing the numbers with the ‘normal day’ data from November 9.
Compared to the three days of Deepavali 2019, the average pollution decreased by 30.34%, due to the combined effect of Covid-19 and an apparent reduction in burning of crackers.
The average AQI at the city railway station and SG Halli dropped from 111 in 2019 to 76.67 this year. The biggest change was recorded by Kavika (Mysuru Road) and Hebbal, where AQI numbers fell by about 46 points.
The noise levels, measured at 10 places across the city, also showed reduced decibels in eight monitoring stations when compared with values from Deepavali 2019. Only the stations at Peenya Industrial Area and TERI Office in Domlur recorded slightly higher decibels at 0.6 and 0.2 decibels, respectively.
The member secretary stated that besides the pandemic, public awareness, introduction of green firecrackers and NGO efforts played a great role in reducing both air and noise pollution.