Sci-tech

Delhi wakes up to choking air quality post Diwali

Delhi wakes up to choking air quality post Diwali

The court also ruled that firecrackers could only be set off between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm, but their bangs were still reverberating around city neighbourhoods well after midnight.

While other cities across north India recorded AQI scores of between 300 and 350, the air was significantly better in central and southern cities - with with the air in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, deemed "satisfactory" with a AQI score of only 64. AQI in several parts of the Delhi and its nearby areas was similar. While decibel levels were monitored on November 1, 7 and 9, the monitoring of ambient air quality levels is being done since October 31 and will continue till November 15.

He warned that the district administration and the police will ensure strict action against anyone found violating the order.

The Supreme Court had limited the time for bursting crackers between 8-10 p.m. on Diwali, but people started just after sunset around 6 p.m. and continued well after 10 p.m. mark. It allowed burning of firecrackers with certain conditions; only green crackers with low emissions and decibel levels were permitted during a two-hour window period on Diwali and for 45 minutes on Christmas and New Year's Eve. As a result, there has been a quantum jump in pollution levels in various cities the day after the festival of lights, virtually turning them into gas chambers.

In 2016, Diwali festivities in Delhi raised pollution levels to their highest in almost two decades - forcing the closure of schools and other emergency measures. Authorities sprinkled water in ITO, Rohini, Dwarka, Ring Road and other areas of the national capital to decrease dust pollution.

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When questioned about the air quality readings, West Bengal Pollution Control Board chairman Kalyan Rudra refused to draw any conclusion about the improvement or deterioration in the air pollution during Kali Puja and Diwali on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

The overall AQI Thursday was recorded in the "severe plus emergency" category at 642, according to authorities. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly.

Tiny particulate matter can cause major health problems.

In view of rising pollution level in Delhi and NCR, Doctors suggest us to remain indoor to avoid the harmfull effect of pollution. "Delhi has to be treated like a model, as it is the most polluted", stresses Aggarwal, former head of the Indian Medical Association, calling for guidelines on all combustible and polluting activity. Last month the World Health Organization said exposure to toxic air indoors and out kills some 600,000 children under the age of 15 each year worldwide.