Kolkata: Notwithstanding the writings and discussions in news media and customary warning by concerned authorities, Kolkatans have once again failed themselves as regards celebrating a safe Deepavali.
Also, Kolkata has beaten New Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad in terms of polluting the air by bursting sound crackers and firecrackers.
Right from the north through south and east through the west of Kolkata, high decibel sound crackers are being burst with more intensity than ever before. The deafening sound is giving it the feeling that there is a war going on all around.
The evening started with the busting of low-decibel crackers and lighting of earthen lamps and for a while, it appeared that Kolkatan’s were probably paying heed to the caution sounded by the Supreme Court and activists working against pollution.
But as the evening grew, people started bursting high-decibel sound crackers, making it difficult to sit calmly even indoors. The suffering it is causing to the old and ill people, as well as animals, is simply terrifying.
In the south Kolkata neighbourhood like Garia, Narendrapur, Jadavpur, EM Bypass, Joka, Behala, Haridevpur, etc. and at Manicktala, Kankurgachi, Belgachia, Dum Dum, Belghoria, etc. in north Kolkata the situation is horrifying.
Some observers are pointing out that the Supreme Court capping the duration of the bursting of crackers between 8 and 10 pm has probably made the revelers misuse the window and thus, they are busting the sound crackers all at a time.
As a result of the bursting of the firecrackers and sound crackers, the air quality in Kolkata is now marching from very poor to hazardous.
According to the US Embassy that monitors air quality within the US Consulate compound located in central Kolkata, at 9 pm, the air quality index (AQI) here stands at 283. This means “very unhealthy”. Once the AQI crosses 300-mark, it will become hazardous.
Significantly, US Embassy data from other cities show that the AQI in New Delhi at 9 pm stands much lower at 179, in Mumbai 125, and in Hyderabad 188.