Delhi’s air quality hazardous,after Diwali

Delhi’s air quality hazardous,after Diwali

Courtesy : Nationalist web team10/11/2018 09:21

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 302 at 11 pm, which fell in the very poor category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Delhi’s air quality was recorded as “hazardous” and “severe” at several places on Thursday, as residents continued to burst firecrackers long after the two-hour deadline set by the Supreme Court.

News agency ANI reported Air Quality Index (AQI) in Anand Vihar was 999, the area around the US embassy in Chanakyapuri 459 and that around the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium was 999, all of which falls under the hazardous category.

It said particulate matter — PM2.5 and PM10 — were at 500 or severe level in Lodhi Road area citing data from AQI.

Senior Delhi Police officials admitted “sporadic” breaches of the top court’s order on bursting crackers beyond the 8pm to 10pm time frame fixed by it.

 “In some areas, people have been found burning firecrackers beyond 8pm-10pm time frame. The exact number of violation is yet to be ascertained. But, we will take strict action against them,” an official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court had allowed bursting firecrackers only for two hours on Diwali and permitted manufacturing and sale of only “green crackers” with low emission of light, sound and smoke.

The court had asked the police to ensure that there is no sale of banned firecrackers and in case of any violation, the station house officers of the police stations concerned would be held “personally liable”. This would amount to committing the contempt of court, the apex court it warned.

 The intensity of the crackers burst before 8pm, however, remained low. But as the festivities picked up, the faint echo of crackers started growing louder.

Some of the areas where the people were seen bursting crackers beyond the stipulated time frame included Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi’s Lutyens Zone, IP Extension, Dwarka and Noida’s Sector 78.

Bursting of crackers beyond 10pm was reported from areas like Mayur Vihar Extension and many localities in south Delhi.

The overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 296 at 10pm after the top court’s deadline to burst crackers came to an end. Data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data show the AQI at 7pm was 281 which rose to 291 at 8pm and escalated further to 294 at 9pm.

The online indicators of the city’s pollution monitoring stations indicated ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ air quality as the volume of ultrafine particulate materials PM2.5 and PM10 in the air, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose after around 8pm.

The pollutants had breached the corresponding 24-hour safe limits of 60 and 100 respectively by up to three times.

  According to the CPCB data, the 24-hour rolling average of PM2.5 and PM10 were 146 and 275 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

The SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) had forecast “bad” air quality on Thursday even if partially toxic crackers, as compared to 2017, are burned. It also said the pollution level will peak between 11am and 3am on Wednesday and Thursday.

The situation was similar, if not worse, in the neighbouring regions of Delhi such as Gurgaon, 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.

 The Centre and the Delhi government have launched an aggressive 10-day Clean Air Campaign from November 1 to 10 to monitor and report polluting activities. About 52 teams deployed under the campaign have been visiting different parts of Delhi and adjacent towns of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida.

Experts had warned of a spike in the pollution levels after Diwali even if “partially toxic crackers” are burnt compared to last year.

Delhi, a city of nearly 16 million, recorded its worst air quality of the season on Monday, when the pollution levels were eight times the permissible limit as a thick haze engulfed the city.

 The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday was recorded at 320, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category, according to data by the CPCB. It was a slight improvement over Monday’s AQI of 434 or ‘severe’ category.

Doctors have said the impact of air pollution on public health can be compared to smoking 15-20 cigarettes a day.

(With agency inputs)


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