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Festivals in India are celebrated with great festivity, fervor and enthusiasm. Every festival has its own importance at a particular point of time. Public participation is must to keep its fervor. From Dushehra to Diwali, people enjoy these two occasions by using crackers and try to outdo each other. Ambient Air Quality and Noise levels are bound to increase on these days. Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), Respiratory SPM, Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and above all, Noise have been widely recognized as major environmental menace in the urban densely populated areas. The annoyance and the consequent adverse health impact of these parameters are well documented. Noise generated from various activities in the cities on these festival days and bursting of high intensity crackers are of serious environmental concern in the Country both from the point of view of public annoyance and public health.

During the period 2013-2014, the Board conducted a study about the impact o Diwali day celebration on the environment particularly on the quality of air with respect to the suspended particulate matter (SPM), obnoxious gases like nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxides (SO2) and high noise levels. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) samples were collected in each day for 24 hrs. on a 4 hourly basis as per Punjab Pollution Control Board, timings for the NAAQM stations in residential, commercial and sensitive areas in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and Mandi Gobindgarh. Noise was monitored during Diwali days i.e. for 6 hrs. (18.00 to 24.00 hrs) on one hourly average basis at night when the bursting of crackers is expected.

Noise Level Monitoring on Diwali in dB(A) Leq.

Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2013

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