Lesser noise, air pollution in Chennai this Diwali

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on November 16, 2020

Public awareness due to Covid-19 attributed to the decrease in pollution level

The air and noise pollution levels were substantially lower this year in Chennai on Deepavali on account of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed by the State government on bursting firecrackers.

The values of PM 10 (particulate matter in the ambient air below the size of 10 microns); PM 2.5 ( less than 2.5 microns); SO2 (sulphur dioxide) and NO2 (nitrogen oxide) in the monitoring stations in Chennai were considerably low this year when compared with 2019 levels.

The PM 10 results ranged from 52 to 111 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre) during Deepavali day against the prescribed standard of 100. The PM 2.5 results ranged from 32 to 59 microgram per cubic metre of air against the prescribed standard of 60, says a report by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

The gaseous pollutant (SO2 and NO2) was found to be well within the prescribed standard. The air quality index in major residential areas of the city such as Tiruvallikeni was “moderate”, in Sowcarpet (commercial) “satisfactory” and in Besant Nagar, T Nagar and Nungambakkam “good”, the report said.


Noise pollution too low

On ambient noise, the report said that it ranged from 54 to 69 decibel (dB) during pre-Deepavali (November 9) and ranged from 71 to 78 dB on Deepavali. It was observed that the values are found to be lower for Deepavali, and ranged from 4-6 Leq — equivalent continuous sound level in decibels — when compared to 2019 values, the report said.

The considerable reduction of pollution level and noise level was mainly due to the public cooperation as per the directions of the Supreme Court (on crackers) and awareness created by the TNPCB.

Awareness among the public due to Covid-19 was also a factor attributed to the decrease in pollution level, the report said.

Published on November 15, 2020

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