Air quality deteriorates alarmingly in Indian metros post-Diwali

DIWALI

This year’s Diwali has seen 17 tons of more waste than previous year in Chennai of India, which was sent to the Common Hazardous Waste Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (CHWTSDF), reports Indian Express.

Disposal of wastes from firecrackers was undertaken by Industrial Waste Management Association (IWMA), a NGO, formed on the directive of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

IWMA campaigned for a ‘Green Deepavali’ through people awareness programs as well as safe disposal of hazardous wastes joining with Chennai Corporation.

‘Green Deepavali’ concept was introduced this year, with the exception of less waste generation. But the total waste collected and disposed of so far has been 27.681 tons, which was carried on 20 special trucks meant for hazardous material provided by the Corporation, said, Shankar Konjeevaram, project coordinator, Green Deepavali, IWMA.

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Disposal of hazardous waste has to be scientific. The wastes could seep into ground water and affect drinking water. Animals could come in contact with the waste and get poisoned, added Konjeevaram.

The waste has to be taken to the CHWTSDF, which is the only facility available in Tamil Nadu for safe disposal of hazardous waste.

The plant in Chennai has one of the 25 Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDF) in India.

As part of precautionary measures, cleaners and residents were instructed on proper crackers disposal method including source segregation from municipal waste.

As seen in previous years, this year also air quality worsened in major cities with Delhi topping the list of poor air quality. As per the air quality index, Delhi recorded the highest level of pollution (RSPM 531 mg per cubic meter).

It was followed by Chennai (320 mg per cubic meter), and Bangalore (239 mg per cubic meter).

According to the predictions made by System of Air quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the pollution levels were expected to be 4-5 times higher than the normal level.

However, Delhi has outdone the predictions, with the air quality in the city being recorded nine times higher than the normal pollution level.

Sabeena Wahid
[email protected]