India

Thick haze, ‘very poor’ air quality in Delhi-NCR after Diwali celebrations

Thick haze, ‘very poor’ air quality in Delhi-NCR after Diwali celebrations

A quiet and promising evening gave way to thick haze and noise as Delhi celebrated Diwali on Thursday night, dashing the hopes of cracker-free festivities, following a Supreme Court ban on the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR). The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city glowed red, indicating a ‘very poor’ air quality as the volume of ultra fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 7 pm.

Real-time pollution data appeared alarming. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC) RK Puram monitoring station recorded PM2.5 and PM10 at 878 and 1,179 micrograms per cubic metre at around 11 pm. The pollutants had violated the corresponding 24-hour safe limits of 60 and 100 respectively by up to 10 times. While it is difficult to quantify the immediate effect of the ban on firecrackers, residents across the national capital felt the beginning was promising with neighbourhoods reporting much lesser noise and smoke till about 6 pm, compared to the previous years. But as the festivities picked up, the faint echo of crackers started growing louder.

According to the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the 24-hour rolling average of PM2.5 and PM10 were 154 and 256 micrograms per cubic metre respectively at around 11 pm. It has forecast that the pollution levels will peak between 11 pm and 3 am.

Indian children play with firecrackers to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Worried especially by the impact on the health of children, the Supreme Court this year banned the sale of firecrackers in the Indian capital and neighboring areas to prevent a toxic haze after the Diwali nights that has residents hiding indoors. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The situation was similar, if not worse, in the neighbouring regions of Delhi such as Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad, where crackers were burst as usual, raising question marks on the efficacy of the administration in enforcing the apex court’s ban. However, the SAFAR has also predicted a relatively cleaner post-Diwali air due to favourable meteorological conditions, which are helping prevent the smoke-filled air from the agricultural belt of Haryana and Punjab from entering the national capital.

A ‘very poor’ air quality index (AQI) essentially means that people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on a prolonged exposure to such air. If the air quality dips further, the AQI will turn ‘severe’, which may trouble even those with sound health conditions and seriously affect those with ailments. The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) is empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

Measures under the GRAP’s ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories, which include a ban on diesel generator sets, came into effect on October 17 and they will remain in force till March 15.

Online Source The Indian Express

India

More in India

“IABCA Stars” Celebrates Migrant Entrepreneurship & Community Leadership

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 17, 2018

Indian Migrants Sent US$5.71bn In Remittances To Other Countries In 2017

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 14, 2018

Sachin Pilot: We Oppose Lynching

The Indian TelegraphAugust 28, 2018

Netflix & Chill: Make Way Narcos, India Has Arrived

Twinkle GhoshAugust 21, 2018

As Floods Ravage Kerala, Labor Urges Oz Government To Extend Helping Hand

The Indian TelegraphAugust 20, 2018

Bengal Chamber Taps Government Sectors Down Under

Twinkle GhoshAugust 16, 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018: Let The Romance Begin

Twinkle GhoshJuly 18, 2018

Sonam Ki Shaadi

Aarti Kapur SinghJune 18, 2018

Dance Sydney Dance

Vish ViswanathanJune 12, 2018

The Next Gandhi is In You

ManasiJune 12, 2018

Bollywood Gupshup

Aarti Kapur SinghJune 12, 2018

Squat Here. Squat There. Better Squat Everywhere.

Susheela SrinivasMay 21, 2018

An Ode To Idli

Susheela SrinivasMay 21, 2018

Break the Silence, End the Violence

Vish ViswanathanMay 2, 2018

The Sky Isn’t The Limit For India’s Rocket Women

Susheela SrinivasMay 2, 2018

Australia India Youth Dialogue: Going Beyond The Clichéd Cs

Arijit BanerjiMay 2, 2018

Meet The Indian Power Puff Girls Of Sydney

Jyotsna SharmaMay 2, 2018

Western Sydney Poised To Benefit From NSW Premier’s India Visit

Vish ViswanathanApril 17, 2018

Let’s Take Yoga To Work

Susheela SrinivasApril 12, 2018

Australia India Youth Dialogue Strengthens Bilateral Ties

Scott FarlowApril 12, 2018

Akki’s Selfie With Suniel Shetty Takes Us Back To The Good Old Days

The Indian TelegraphApril 3, 2018