Diwali fireworks push air pollution to ‘severe’ level in India’s capital

10 November, 2018, 04:26 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Delhi air quality shoots to 'hazardous' category as residents flout Diwali firecracker curbs

"Despite widespread publicity of the Supreme Court's order by the district administration, some people were found violating the orders and a first information report has been registered against them under the Indian Penal Code's section 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by public servant)", City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra said in a statement.

The index measures air quality taking into account particulate matter - PM 2.5, or very fine particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, and PM 10 which are less than 10 micrometers in diameter - as well as other pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide.

With levels of air pollution classed as "hazardous", the restriction on the almost 40,000 medium and heavy lorries that enter Delhi every day was imposed late Thursday.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the PM 2.5 level on Friday morning was 272 (severe) and PM 2.5 level was 422 (very poor). The air quality index on Mysuru Road was 145 on Thursday while last week it was 79.

"If Kejriwal government is so serious over effects of cracker bursting on air quality, would it announce a ban on it", he questioned.

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"This scenario is likely to hold the locally generated crackers emissions within the NCT, slowing down the dispersion, resulting in increased levels of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution", it added. The overall AQI of the city was 11 times the permissible limit.

A "severe plus emergency" AQI essentially means that even healthy people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure.

The deterioration in air quality is being witnessed despite the Supreme Court directing that only green firecrackers be lit and that too for two hours between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly.

Despite the order, certain places reported violation of the specified time period.

The areas where the violations were recorded included Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens' Delhi, IP extension, Dwarka and Noida Sector 78.

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