Noida: Noida’s air quality was recorded in the ‘poor’ category a day after Diwali but was nonetheless best since 2018, official data showed on Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, the air quality index (AQI) of Noida for a 24-hour period was recorded at 299 (poor). On Monday, it was 305 (very poor) and on Sunday, it was 236 (poor), according to official figures. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.
Officials of the regional pollution control board believe that a key reason for relatively better AQI after Diwali is that the festival took place in October and not November, when the temperatures go further down. An year on year comparison of figures showed that Noida’s AQI the next day of Diwali was 299 in 2022, 475 in 2021, 337 in 2020, 397 in 2019 and 432 in 2018. On the day of Diwali, the AQI figure in 2022 (October 24) was recorded at 305, in 2021 (November 4) it was 404, in 2020 (November 14) it was 425, in 2019 (October 25) it was 358, in 2018 (November 7) it was 288, data from corresponding years showed.
On the AQI situation, Praveen Kumar, the regional officer of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in Noida said,
We have been in an advantageous situation due to meteorological conditions this year. We also made maximum efforts in controlling our local sources (of pollution) like construction and demolition activities, traffic congestions, fuel and garbage burning. We had regular directions from the district magistrate also in checking local sources, and we are ensuring strict enforcement of laws.
He said another key factor that helped was an early Diwali this time as compared to recent years. Mr Kumar added,
The air becomes colder in November. PM 2.5 levels are major pollutants which rises in the air due to burning activities.
He said the UPPCB is regularly issuing challans and penalising polluters in the region to keep a check on pollution. In view of increased pollution levels around Diwali, the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was brought in for the national capital region.
Due to spike in pollution levels, particularly around Diwali, in recent years, a ban is being imposed on bursting traditional firecrackers, while guidelines being issued on burning green crackers that too only during a specific time period on festival day.
However in Uttar Pradesh, this time there was no time-bound or location-bound restriction on usage of the alternative green crackers during Diwali.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.