Same Old Story: Smog, Haze Back in Delhi After Diwali

Same Old Story: Smog, Haze Back in Delhi After Diwali

Same Old Story: Smog, Haze Back in Delhi After Diwali

This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by Safar.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data said particulate concentrations were slightly higher this Diwali as compared to previous year. Over 250 cases of burn injuries were reported by various hospitals in the national capital this Diwali.

It admitted that the severe deterioration of air quality was due to unfavourable conditions coupled with pollutants generated from firecrackers.

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

Mustafa Mohammed, a student and cycling enthusiast, said he could feel the air quality dip drastically as he set out on Thursday to the India Gate in the heart of the city. The air quality index on Mysuru Road was 145 on Thursday while last week it was 79.

Although Punjab's air quality went from "moderate" on Diwali day to "poor" by night, it has shown an improvement compared to Diwali night past year when it was reported under "very poor" category. "However, the data are similar to Diwali day of 2016 which was observed on October 30", the CPCB data said.

The apparent lack of concern about the toxic air - whether through ignorance or apathy - gives politicians the cover they need for failing to address the problem, say environmental activists and others.

"Only at Anand Vihar and Punjabi Bagh both daytime and night time noise level declined". The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) reported a 24-hr average PM2.5 level at 450 microgram/m3 at 5 PM on Thursday for Delhi. India's official permissible PM2.5 limit is 60 µgm-3 while PM10 level is 100 µgm-3.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Protection Authority said it was closely monitoring the situation and if the pollution shows an increasing trend then emergency measures will be imposed in the national capital.

The SAFAR had warned that even if partial toxic firecrackers as compared to a year ago were burnt, then the air quality would fall in the "severe" category.

The top court had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the area would be held responsible. The US Embassy in the Delhi - which according to the World Health Organization is the most polluted city on Earth - said its readings touched 526.

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