Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Firework smog chokes Delhi as India celebrates Diwali

Heavy pollution during early morning hours after Diwali night in New Delhi on Thursday Heavy pollution during early morning hours after Diwali night in New Delhi on Thursday
Guillermo Lane | 10 November, 2018, 04:26

But despite the court order, there were reports of violatiosn from many areas long after 10pm. Readings above 500 in the index, which measures poisonous gases and toxic particulate matter in the air, are typically associated with serious aggravation of the heart and lungs.

The smog over Delhi has thickened in last 48 hours, after the Diwali celebrations which led to an unprecedented increase in the pollution.

There were several violations of the top court's order, with people bursting fireworks well outside of the two-hour limit mandated by the court and the day after Diwali too. on Thursday morning, Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the season, with pollution levels reaching "hazardous" in most parts of the city soon after midnight.

Partly as a result of smoke from crackers, the overall air quality index (AQI) in Delhi jumped to 574 which falls in the "severe-plus emergency" category, according to data by the Centre-run SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research).

"The AAP government is indifferent towards steps that need to be taken to make Delhi's air clean".

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The Supreme Court has allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on Diwali and other festivals.

The capital city was followed by Kolkata with recording the same AQI. Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Gurugram, and Patna recorded "severe" air pollution with AQIs hovering well above 400 on Thursday night.

A "very poor" AQI translates into spike in respiratory illnesses and if the air quality dips further, the AQI turns "severe", which troubles healthy individuals and seriously affects those with health issues.

The court said the police should ensure that there was no sale of banned firecrackers and in case of any violation, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the police station of the area would be held personally liable and this would amount to committing contempt of the court.

On Wednesday night Delhites largely defied a court order and set off an huge barrage of smoke-spewing firecrackers to celebrate the major Hindu festival of Diwali, sending pollution levels soaring.

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