The city of Hyderabad witnessed a sharp rise in air pollution, on the eve of Diwali.
The Telangana State Pollution Control Board (PCB), which monitored air quality from three real-time monitoring stations within the limits of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said that there was sharp rise after 6pm on Thursday.
The Hindu reported that hazy weather was expected in the city over the next few days, as pollution from firecrackers could remain suspended in the air due to temperature inversion.
While areas like Sanathnagar received some respite during peak hours, the monitoring station at University of Hyderabad (UoH) recorded a particulate matter (PM) 10 level of 189 microgram per metre cube against the prescribed 100 microgram per metre cube, while the Zoo Park recorded a PM 10 level of 154 microgram per metre cube, even on Friday morning.
On Thursday evening, UoH recorded a PM 2.5 level of 105, while Zoo Park recorded a PM 2.5 level of 98.10, against the prescribed level of 60 microgram per metre cube.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that Air Quality Index, a private air quality monitoring website, which gauges the pollution level according to standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO), rated the air quality at 176 points on Saturday at 7:30 pm in the city whereas it was 150-160 range in Delhi.
The festive fervour gripped the nation on Thursday as people celebrated Diwali, often referred to as â€˜the festival of lights by lighting â€˜diyas (earthen lamps), paying obeisance to Goddess Lakshmi, distributing sweets, and setting off fireworks.
In Delhi, the cracker-bursting was relatively subdued as compared to previous years, thanks to a temporary ban imposed by the Supreme Court on selling and bursting of crackers.
However, the revelers in the adjoining townships of Delhi such as Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad paid little heed to the apex court's writ and environmentalists' concerns.
At 10 pm, in Mandir Marg in Delhi, the PM 2.5 concentration was 390 units against the prescribed 60 units, while PM 10 was 480 against the prescribed 100.