Can’t breathe… Delhi faces hazardous air pollution after the Diwali celebrations

The national capital is severely facing air pollution post-Diwali as the people burst crackers despite a ban across the country. The air quality index in the region has dropped to 382 and is said to be “very bad” and have become ‘serious’ by November 4 midnight and risen rapidly, officials said. It is also expected that the air pollution in Delhi would rise in the coming days, said climate experts and officials.

Several areas of the national capital witnessed firecracker burning despite the ban imposed by the Delhi government. The neighboring cities of Faridabad (424), Ghaziabad (442), Gurgaon (423), and Noida (431) also recorded ‘severe’ air quality with cracker bursting peaking at midnight. Air pollution in Delhi is going up and it is now a matter of concern in the country.

At Indira Gandhi airport, the visibility has been reduced with the first episode of fog and in other airports have also been faced visibility problems at a range of 600-800 metres. People near the regions are severely affected by the pollution where they caused Itching in the throat, watering of the eyes, etc.

While curbs and protocols on limiting the use of crackers were in place, despite all the curbs, some parts of the country sold and used the crackers, especially in the capital. Moreover, experts said the air quality deterioration was due to unfavorable meteorological conditions that include calm winds, low temperature, and low mixing height. Poisoned cocktails from fireworks, bush burning, and local sources also contributed to the air pollution.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) uses a 24-hour rolling average to ascertain the air quality index of the last 24 hours. According to CPCB, the 24-hour average PM2.5 concentration in Delhi-NCR rose from 243 micrograms per cubic meter at 6 pm to 263 micrograms per cubic meter at 9 pm, more than four times the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter.

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The classification of air quality has also been listed by CPCB. CPCB classifies an AQI of 51-100 as “satisfactory”, 101-200 as “moderate”, 201-300 as “poor”, 301-400 as “very poor” and above 401 as “severe”.