The air quality in Bengaluru expectedly dropped during Diwali in spite of the time restrictions placed on bursting firecrackers. The restrictions were flouted in several areas in the city, with preliminary data showing that the pollution in the city increased drastically by Thursday night, as per a report in The Hindu.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) has dropped from its 'good and satisfactory' rating last week to 'moderate' this week. The pollution levels were highest in Hebbal and Jayanagar. The AQI was 147 in Jayanagar, an increase from 93 last week, while Hebbal too had an AQI of 147. The AQI at Nimhans and Silk Board Junction, too, were similarly high at 134, which is significantly up from 47 and 50 respectively a week ago.
The AQI measures particulate matter - PM 2.5 or fine particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, and PM 10, which are fine particles less than 10 micrometres in diameter. It also measures other pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and so on.
All reading showed that the pollution levels in the city had increased significantly from last week. According to officials at the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), less number of vehicles on Bengaluru's roads during Deepavali helped reduce pollution levels.
Speaking to Times of India, KSPCB Chairman Lakshman, said, “We are not as bad as Delhi but the situation is still alarming here. Our pollution rank is fifth or sixth in the country. The levels of pollutants, namely PM10 and PM2.5, quite often exceed prescribed limits in major areas. Vehicular emissions are the biggest source of air pollution.”
He further added that the KSPCB is in the process of forming a committee of experts to identify the source of air pollution in the city. “Experts from institutes like IISc and IIMB will be part of it along with officials from various civic agencies. Air quality monitoring around Metro construction sites, curbs at buildings construction sites, quality roads, stopping of garbage burning and phasing out of old vehicles are some of the issues the committee will be looking into,” he added.