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

Guwahati People busy buying green crackers for Diwali in Guwahati on Nov 7 2018

Guwahati People busy buying green crackers for Diwali in Guwahati on Nov 7 2018

Patiala, Khanna and Rupnagar, had recorded 150, 186, and 83 AQI on Diwali day respectively which had gone upto, 264, 208 and 146 on Diwali night.

Although Punjab's air quality went from "moderate" on Diwali day to "poor" by night, it has shown an improvement compared to Diwali night previous year when it was reported under "very poor" category.

"Last year Diwali was observed on October 19 whereas this year, the festival was celebrated on November 7 which has different meteorological conditions that govern the dispersion pattern of pollutants", the CPCB said. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly.

Forecasts suggest the air quality across northern cities will remain very poor till Sunday.

According to a report published by a research group Urban Emissions, as much as 5 million kilograms of firecrackers were burnt in the region leading to an emission of 150,000 kilograms of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 despite the Supreme Court's order stating that bursting of firecrackers will only be allowed from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali. The quality of air in Pitampura, Airport, Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 679, 481 and 801 respectively.

A municipal worker with her daughter leaves after sweeping the India Gate area as a thick lawyer of pollution haze hangs a day after Diwali festival, in New Delhi, India, on November 8, 2018.

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A thick haze engulfed Delhi Thursday as it recorded its worst air quality of the year on the morning after Diwali, with the pollution level entering the "severe-plus emergency" category, or 11 times the permissible limit, due to rampant bursting of toxic firecrackers in violation of a Supreme Court order, authorities said. Preliminary data revealed that pollution levels had increased noticeably by Thursday night.

The Supreme Court has allowed people to burst firecrackers from 8pm to 10pm only on Diwali and other festivals.

In the wake of deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the entry of heavy vehicles into the national capital have been stopped after 11 pm.

The court said the police should ensure there was no sale of banned firecrackers and in case of any violation, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the police station of the area would be held personally liable and this would amount to committing contempt of court.

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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