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Delhi's air quality deteriorates from 'very poor' to 'hazardous' post-Diwali

After last year's Diwali, Delhi's AQI had crossed the 600-mark, which is 12 times the safe limit. In 2017, the AQI post-Diwali was 326

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 28, 2019  | 12:18 IST
Delhi's air quality deteriorates from 'very poor' to 'hazardous' post-Diwali
People reported violation of the two-hour window in Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Kailash Hills, Burari, Jangpura, Shahdara, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Sarita Vihar, Hari Ngar, New Friends Colony, Dwarka among others places.

The air quality post-Diwali in Delhi-NCR slipped to "very poor" category with air quality index (AQI) at 327 in the national capital and 306 in Noida on Monday morning.

The major pollutant PM 2.5 recorded in Lodhi road area on Monday was at 500 which is falls in the 'severe' category, according to the AQI data. The AQI in Hapur stood at 657 under the 'hazardous' category.

In areas around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and India Gate, the major pollutants PM 2.5 was at 240 and PM 10 was at 182, which comes under 'unhealthy category' today morning.

On Saturday (October 26) government's air quality monitor, SAFAR had predicted that the air quality would get worse post-diwali and the AQI was expected to be around 324 due to Diwali.

According to news agency PTI, people reported a violation of the two-hour (8-10 pm) window regarding the use of fireworks allowed by the Supreme Court last week. The violations were reported from the areas of Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Kailash Hills, Burari, Jangpura, Shahdara, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Sarita Vihar, Hari Nagar, New Friends Colony, Dwarka among others places.

The AQI in the towns of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida was 320, 382, 312 and 344, respectively at 11 pm on Sunday.

In Delhi, the AQI stood at 327 at 11 pm. It dipped to 323 at 3.30 am, just about when it was expected to enter the "severe" category.

It, however, increased to 340 at 8:30 am, as the weather department reported occurrence of shallow fog.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe". Above 500 is "severe-plus emergency" category.

With Delhi's air quality plummeting to dangerous levels around Diwali every year, the Supreme Court in 2018 banned polluting firecrackers and ordered that only green firecrackers, which is said to cause 30 per cent less pollution, can be manufactured and sold.

But the green pyrotechnics have failed to draw good response both from sellers and buyers, primarily due to lack of variety, limited stock and high prices.

Last year also, people continued to buy the conventional firecrackers and use them.

The prevailing air pollution in the national capital region has also become a cause for concern ahead of the T20 International between India and Bangladesh at the Feroz Shah Kotla on November 3.

Back in December 2017, the Sri Lankan cricket team was left gasping for breath during a Test match at the Kotla, forcing most of their players to wear protective masks even as some fell ill.

BCCI and DDCA officials are now hoping that the city's poor air quality doesn't become an issue during the night encounter.

Apprehending a dip in air quality, the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Friday banned construction activities at night in Delhi-NCR from Saturday to Wednesday.

It also directed closure of coal-based industries, barring power plants, in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Sonepat and Bahadurgarh during the period.

On EPCA's direction, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have also ordered the closure of industries, which have not yet shifted to piped natural gas, from Saturday-Wednesday.

A PMO-led panel has directed implementing agencies and the NCR states to intensify anti-pollution measures up to mid-November so that there is immediate impact on air quality.

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