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Delhi’s Diwali turns poisonous

Chirag Arora 16th November 2020

Pollution in Delhi. (Source: Adnan Abidi)

Delhi: The Delhi-NCR area is considered to be one of the most polluted regions of the country, where the air condition worsens with the onset of the festive month. The cumulation of the firecrackers due to the Diwali madness and the start of the stubble burning season in the western part of the country results in a high rise in pollution levels every year.

The city recorded the worst AQI (Air Quality Index) in the last four years this Diwali. The score stood 414 on Saturday, leading to 435 on Sunday. The AQI on Diwali for the previous three years has been 337 (2019), 287 (2018), and 319 (2017).

The PM 2.5 levels also took a hit this year, as the authorities defined the air quality as "severe". The levels of PM 2.5, which is about three per cent the diameter of a human hair and can lead to premature deaths from heart and lung diseases, were 396 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) in Delhi-NCR at 6 am, above the emergency threshold of 300 ug/m3.

The PM 10 index, which calculates a particulate matter concentration of 10 microns in diameter or less in the air, reached 408, SAFAR said. It is coarse particulate matter and for the most part, dust that connects to hazardous matter from other pollutants. A level of 500 is considered hazardous" and it is typically recommended for people to stay indoors.

The Delhi Government, even after employing the firecracker ban were not able to enforce it, the police only arrested ten people even after the constant flouting of the ban as a token gesture from the establishment.

The people of Delhi are facing a lot of difficulties “moving and commuting around the city”. Apart from which many people have intentions of “going back to their native cities and villages and will not back due to the air quality” as stated by various relatives and friends when asked. This comes as a result of the continuation of online classes and work from home guidelines in the district.

(Sources: Huffington Post, The Times of India, The Indian Express)

Edited by: Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh

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