Deepavali less polluted this time

On Tuesday, the city breathed easy, with residents bursting fewer crackers than usual during Deepavali. However, the Supreme Court order on bursting crackers for only two hours seemed to have been flouted by many residents, who enjoyed the festive spirit the entire evening. Thoraipakkam resident Prabhakar said that children in his area burst crackers in the morning. But after a lull in the afternoon, the evening witnessed a lovely show both on the ground and in the skies with colourful fireworks, he said. Data provided by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) from five locations — Triplicane, Besant Nagar, Nungambakkam, Sowcarpet and T. Nagar — showed that during the 24-hour period from the dawn of Tuesday to Wednesday, the average particulate matter levels were way below those recorded last year. This, the board officials said, was due to the fact that many residents strictly adhered to the Supreme Court order. “The weather was also kind and the breeze helped disperse the particulate matter,” the official said. Anna Nagar resident S. Kumar, however said that residents had burst crackers beyond the stipulated time. “If the government is really concerned about the environment, mere reduction in timing and booking cases and confiscating fireworks from children is not the way. It should ensure that cracker manufacturers go green and not put the onus on the consumers,” he said. Meanwhile, data picked from the Central Pollution Control Board’s Sameer app showed that PM 2.5 particles reached a maximum of 401 microgram/cubic metre with an average of 118 microgram/cubic metre at Manali. In Velachery, the maximum recorded was 328 microgram/cubic metre and the average was 103 microgram/cubic metre. The recording was noted at 9.11 p.m. on Tuesday.

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