Delhi chokes on Diwali night as revelers burst crackers

Despite a ban on firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region, the revelers continued unabated on Diwali night resulting in a sharp deterioration in the air quality of Capital. On November 5, the quality of air in New Delhi was in the ‘hazardous’ category. It remained in the ‘severe’ category even two days after Diwali.

The nationwide Air Quality Index (AQI) showed trends that multiple cities across India continued to be in poor shape. The national capital New Delhi topped the ten cities with the poorest air quality on November 6 with an AQI of 533 followed by nearby Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh with an AQI of 486. The other cities in the top ten list included Noida, Hapur, Baghpat, Bulandshahar, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, and Gurugram, Meerut, and Ballabhgarh in Haryana.

A thick blanket of smog shrouded the skies of these cities and several people complained of itchy throat and watery eyes.

Authorities say that the bursting of firecrackers along with an increase in farm fires has worsened the air quality in most cities in northern India, particularly in New Delhi on Diwali night on November 4.

In India, AQI of 401-500 and beyond is categorized as ‘severe’ indicating over 430 PM 10 particles. Such poor air quality is hazardous for people not only with respiratory but also for otherwise healthy people. People with lung disorders and heart ailments remain seriously at risk due to poor air quality, and the impact may be experienced during light physical activities.

Image courtesy of Courtesy Business Standard

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