Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Day After Diwali, Delhi's Air Quality is 11 Times the Permissible Limit

Day After Diwali, Delhi's Air Quality is 11 Times the Permissible Limit

On Friday, levels of particulates 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, the most harmful to human health, peaked at 845, according to the USA embassy website that monitors air quality independently. According to the autonomous meteorological body set up under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, SAFAR, the overall Air Quality Index of Delhi at 8:15 am was recorded at 428, which falls under the "hazardous" category. The air quality index on Mysuru Road was 145 on Thursday while last week it was 79. The pollution level in the air got decreased by 29% this Diwali while there was 36 per cent and 44 per cent reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 levels respectively.

Delhi's pollution level post-Diwali almost doubled in comparison to a year ago and entered the "severe-plus emergency" category (ten times permissible limit) as people burst firecrackers before and after the Supreme Court stipulated time frame of 8 pm to 10 pm.

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

Last month, in a bid to control pollution, the Supreme Court allowed the use of "green" firecrackers for Diwali but only if they were let off between 8-10 pm.

However, the CPCB said when compared with the average particulate matter data during November 1 to 7 last year with the same period this year, the city average particulate concentration for Delhi was lower in 2018.

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.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data said particulate concentrations were slightly higher this Diwali as compared to a year ago.

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After a slight improvement on Diwali, Delhi's pollution level skyrockets to "severe" levels on Thursday midnight.

The overall AQI of the city was 11 times the permissable limit.

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

Several areas in Delhi including Anand Vihar, ITO and Jahangirpuri have recorded the highest level of pollutants in the air and the Delhi government is planning to mull the odd-even rule back in the national capital.

The court had asked the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and said in case of any violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the police station concerned would be held personally liable and it 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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