Calcutta’s air quality drops to ‘bad’ despite less use of firecrackers at night during Kali puja

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With the exception of some pockets of southern Calcutta like Kasba, Jadavpur, Garia, Bansdroni and in areas like Kasipur, Dumdum, Sinthi, Baranagar and Chitpur, there have been very few fireworks incidents that have erupted elsewhere, an official with the West Bengal Pollution Control Board said.

Representative image. Sivakasi fireworks

Calcutta: With the exception of a few pockets in southern Calcutta, very few cases of firecracker bursting have been reported in the overnight town of Kali Puja, even though the air quality in the metropolis has increased from moderate to bad, a West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) official said on Friday.

He said that to our knowledge, with the exception of some pockets in southern Calcutta like Kasba, Jadavpur, Garia, Bansdroni and in areas like Kasipur, Dumdum, Sinthi, Baranagar and Chitpur, there was very little ‘fireworks incidents erupting elsewhere and it was a calmer Kali Puja. .

At 5 p.m. on Kali puja day (Thursday), the Air Quality Index (AQI) was 260 in the area of ​​Rabindra Bharati University (RBU), 171 in Ballygunje, 227 in Bidhannagar, 189 in Fort William, 229 at Jadavpur, 146 at the Victoria Memorial and 148 at the Rabindra Sarobar air monitoring station, he said.

The official said that in the RBU area north of Kolkata, air quality deteriorated as the AQI index read 315 (PM 2.5) at 9 a.m. on Friday, after reaching 280 at 21 hours on the day of Kali Puja.

In the University of Jadavpur area, south of Kolkata, the IQA stayed at 246 at 9 a.m. on Friday as it read 233 just 12 hours back, while in the Ballygunje area, the IQA was 220 at 9 a.m. Friday compared to 182 just 12 hours ago.

In the Fort William area the AQI was 217, in Bidhannagar 207 and in the Victoria area 203, the morning after Kali puja night.

The AQI was 192 in Fort William, Bidhannagar 223 and the Victoria area 158 on the evening of the Kali puja, the official said.

An AQI of 300 to 400 is called very poor in air quality jargon, it is defined as poor if it exceeds the threshold of 200, and moderate if the AQI is between 101 and 200.

The WBPCB official said that due to winter conditions in the air at this time of year, particulate matter is heavy in the air for hours.

“The drop in air quality cannot be entirely attributed to the problem of fireworks and even more to humidity and traffic emissions, as more vehicles take to the road at night. to the Kali puja. To our knowledge, with the exception of the southern pockets of Calcutta like Kasba, Jadavpur, Garia, Bansdroni and in areas like Kasipur, Dumdum, Sinthi, Baranagar and Chitpur, there has been very little ‘fireworks incidents erupted elsewhere and it was a calmer Kalipuja,’ said the WBPCB official.

Meanwhile, environmentalist Somendra Mohan Ghosh claimed air quality did not improve even after 12 p.m. Friday as fireworks erupted late in the evening. Although firecracker noises were lower than in 2019, they were higher than last year in various pockets of the city and the intensity increased after 10 p.m., Ghosh said. PTI.

Sabuj Manch secretary Naba Dutta said “there were frequent cracker bursts in different localities as of 2019. It was higher than in 2020. Apparently the ban on fireworks other than the green fireworks did not work and the crackers and banned shells entered the city. “

WBPCB records indicate that the AQI was between 50 and 150 AQI in the city two weeks ago and hovered between 150 and 250 in the past week as Kali Puja approached.

The Calcutta High Court ruled on Wednesday that all necessary efforts must be made by the government of West Bengal to ensure that only green crackers are used during Diwali-Kali Puja and other festivals that have followed, observing that the sincerity of the state would be reflected in the enforcement mechanism. .


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