Indore: The pandemic Covid-19 has set a ‘new normal’ which has proved bane for many but it also proved boon for the city’s environment. As most of the people avoided firing crackers and even decreased the size of Ravan’s effigy, the city’s air remained cleaner on Dussehra than other usual days.
Moreover, the officials believed that the level of pollution was the lowest in the last many years as it never dropped below 100 on Dussehra day.
According to the report released by Regional Office of Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board, the Air Quality Index on October 24, i.e. one day before Dussehra, was 100 but it dropped to 95 on October 25, i.e. Dussehra.
“City has seen the cleanest Dussehra in terms of air pollution in the last many years. I need to check the exact data but I am sure that the AQI was better than it was recorded on this Dussehra at least in the last 10 years,” chief chemist of Pollution Control Board Dr DK Waghela said.
Not only the AQI, other pollutants also remained on the lesser side including PM10 and PM2.5.
“The PM10 and PM2.5 were comparatively less than what was recorded on the day before Dussehra. The hourly comparison was also showing the same trend,” he said.
Talking about the reasons for such change, Dr Waghela said, “There were multiple reasons due to which pollution decreased including less vehicular movement due to weekend and less consumption of firecrackers due to Covid-19. Also most of the people and organisations had decided not to burn Ravana’s effigy or decreased the size while keeping use of firecrackers at a minimum .”
Average PM 10 on October 25 was 89 and PM 2.5 was 31 in comparison to 98 and 32, respectively on October 24.
AQI was near 500 in Mhow Naka area, two years ago on Dussehra
According to Dr Waghela, the AQI in Mhow Naka area had risen close to 500 on the eve of Dussehra about two years ago due to firecrackers, effigy burning, and major vehicular movement.
However, the department couldn’t monitor the same last year due to technical glitches.