Monday, August 13, 2007

The great pollution fest
Manoj R Nair

Mindless extravagance first killed the spirit behind our festivals. Now it may be killing you and me.

Studies have shown an alarming rise in pollution levels during festivals in Mumbai -- oxygen levels in the sea and major lakes fell by 50 per cent in the aftermath of the 10-day Ganeshotsav festival this year; sound pollution was up almost 100 per cent during Diwali, while the level of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter, fine pollutants that can enter our lungs as we breathe, was 70 per cent above the danger mark.

While doctors have reported a worrying increase in the number of people complaining of bronchitis and asthma after Diwali, environmentalists believe the large number of dead fish washing ashore in Thane creek and found floating in Powai lake recently was directly linked to the immersion of giant Ganpati idols made of plaster of paris and carrying toxic colours.

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