Amritsar, Punjab: Unable to zero in on a “pollution-free alternative”, the SGPC is left with no option but to curtail the timing of fireworks at the Golden Temple complex on the occasion of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Diwas.
Talking to The Tribune, Darbar Sahib manager Partap Singh said they had already reduced the duration of fireworks to 12 minutes. He said the SGPC had been looking for “smokeless firecrackers” for the past three years, but in vain.
It was in 2011 that the SGPC first reduced the time of fireworks from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. In 2012 too the fireworks display was for 15 minutes. The duration was further slashed in 2013 to 12 minutes. The move came after the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) advised the SGPC to ban firecrackers at the Golden Temple complex.
As per a study on air pollution around the shrine conducted by the IIT Delhi, the particulate matter (PM10) concentration breached the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The study found re-suspension of road dust (47 per cent), followed by industries (31 per cent) as the main source of PM10. The study said diesel generators (59 per cent), vehicular exhaust (26 per cent), and free kitchen (12 per cent) were contributing to NO2 emission. Similarly, kitchen (46 per cent) and industries (41 per cent) were main sources of SO2 emission around the shrine.
As per a pollution control board study from January 2010 to December 2011, the pollution is damaging miniature paintings and the temple’s gold-plating besides leading to corrosion and blackening of marble.
Source: The Tribune