Pollution Spikes After Diwali: Fireworks Order Backfires?

Crackers

Not surprisingly, the air quality check on Patna carried out by the Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) on Thursday morning showed alarming results.

Violations were also recorded in Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur and other major cities, said media reports.

In a crowded Delhi and new Delhi air pollution periodically increases to hazardous level.

Delhiites continued to burst firecrackers on Diwali long after the 10 p.m. deadline set by the Supreme Court.

A senior government official had told Reuters the city was heading into a "deadly cocktail" of pollution due to fireworks around Diwali and crop residue burning by farmers. Administrative laxity, coupled with public defiance in the name of upholding traditions and traders' ingenious ways of ensuring access to toxic firecrackers, has made a mockery of the apex court's directive meant to check air pollution and protect public health.

Unfavourable weather conditions coupled with extra pollutants from firecrackers in Delhi-NCR led to "severe-plus" or "emergency" air quality on Friday, and the toxicity isn't going to improve for at least 2 more days. The AQI was hazardous also in Satyawati and Anand Vihar. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) sprinkled water on trees in the area around Delhi University's North Campus.

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The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 423 (Severe) on Friday, against 390 (Very poor).

During non-Diwali days, out of the seven stations where air quality is monitored, only City Railway Station in the heart of the city recorded "moderate" air quality of 117 while the rest were "satisfactory" with an average of 66.3. Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Gurugram, and Patna recorded "severe" air pollution with AQIs hovering well above 400 on Thursday night. A level of 50 or less is considered healthy. This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by SAFAR.

A high level of tiny particulate matter can lodge deep into the lungs and cause major health problems.

KSPCB Chairman Lakshman said the dip in pollution levels from a year ago signify growing awareness of green Diwali celebrations.

For a second successive year, New Delhi's chief minister has likened the city to a "gas chamber". Large swathes of India's northern states remained under dense smog that has shut hundreds of thousands of schools, disrupted air and railway services and forced residents to stay indoors.

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