Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Delhi's air quality improves to "very poor" ahead of Diwali

Delhi's air quality improves to

They further said that "a child who is born in Delhi is taking in gulps of bad air which is equivalent to smoking 20 to 25 cigarettes on the first day of his life".

The festival will be celebrated widely in northern India on November 7, and 8, and thousands of fireworks will be let off, contributing to already high polution levels.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) asked people to avoid bursting crackers this Diwali and also abstain from consuming alcohol in order to prevent health hazards, in view of the concerns of rising air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR). The smog and dust will continue to hover around the atmosphere resulting in no relief from increasing pollution levels.

The air quality in the city is expected to deteriorate to the "severe plus emergency" level, according to a government-affiliated pollution monitoring agency. Researchers had forecast a "very poor" air quality index, or AQI, of 306 for Wednesday, considering pollution from firecrackers. Tuesday morning in Delhi experienced the same heavy smog blanketed over the national capital.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research - commonly known as SAFAR - on Monday had said that Delhi's air quality is likely to deteriorate to the "severe-plus emergency" category after Diwali.

At Dhirpur, the AQI was 328 at 8:30 am, while in Mathura Road area it dipped to "very poor" category at 375. The report warned people to refrain from physical activity outdoors.

"PM 2.5 levels are expected to rise, which will push air quality back to "emergency" on Thursday and Friday if Delhi bursts even 50 percent of firecrackers that it did on last year's Diwali".

To address the air pollution situation, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said it was mulling inducing artificial rain over the city after Diwali to wash away hazardous pollutants plaguing the national capital.

The PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) level was recorded at 143 while the PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) was recorded at 281 in Delhi, according to the CPCB data. This was due to a change in the direction of winds and rampant stubble burning in the neighbouring states.

On Monday, the air quality of Delhi and most of the NCR fell from moderate on Sunday to severe on Monday.

To control the situation that escalated past year, the Supreme Court has banned the manufacture and sale of pollution-causing fireworks in New Delhi. This time is no different.

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