Dehra Dun: The drive launched by the school going children and various NGOs for an eco-friendly Diwali had its impact in the state capital of Uttarakhand, as not only was the business of crackers down by over 25 per cent this year, despite the fact that their prices had increased, but even the pollution levels in most parts of the city were lower.
The message this year was rather than spreading pollution, live to the true spirit of Diwali and spread light. In fact some of the NGOs had also propagated using the tradition ‘diyas’ to modern electricity and at least one of them had urged the people to switch off power for an hour from 10 p m to 11 p m, and in the darkness enjoy the beauty of the flickering and low light of ‘diyas’.
The pollution levees were recorded at three places in the city, the Clock Tower, which is the heart of the city, Raipur in the outskirts of the city and Nehru Colony. At Clock Tower the pollution level this Diwali was 25 micrograms less than last year, while at Raipur it was 23 micrograms less.
However, Nehru Colony had shown an increase of 57 micrograms as compared to the previous year. The reason for this was attributed to the fact that the Colony was not fully occupied last year and the number of families had increased considerably this year, because of which the pollution levels had also gone up.
However, traders dealing in fireworks and crackers admitted that the turnover this year was far lower than last year, despite the fact that the prices were higher, and that even Chinese fire crackers had flooded the market, giving more diversity of fireworks. “A notable feature this year was that there was far lesser number of school going children at the shops”, said Gulshan Kumar, a fireworks trader.
Meanwhile schools also took credit for the low sales of fire crackers and lesser pollution. “Most of the schools had launched an awareness drive and the teachers in particular had contributed in telling the students on the harms that pollution of both sound and air cause and we are happy that it had the desired affect”, said the principal of a private day school.