50 lakh kg of crackers burnt in Delhi this year

12 November, 2018, 12:44 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Crackers

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 8:30 am was recorded at 458, which falls under the "severe" category, indicated System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

Bursting of crackers beyond 10 PM was reported from areas like Mayur Vihar Extension and many South Delhi localities. There was a similar spike in air pollution levels in other major cities. The air quality was, however, better than it was in 2016 and 2017, indicating that the pollution caused by firecrackers was lower this year, said scientists.

The air quality in Delhi has reached "severe plus emergency" category following Diwali celebrations. It also stipulated that the fireworks could only be set off between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. - a ruling that appeared to go largely ignored. Armed with decibel meters and air quality measurement devices, volunteers scrambled as people rushed to burst crackers, many even wearing masks.

Ambient air quality touched 595 on Thursday morning, according to the U.S. embassy in Delhi which independently monitors pollution levels. India's official permissible PM2.5 limit is 60 µgm-3 while PM10 level is 100 µgm-3.

"Diwali is the only time when all relatives meet each other and burst crackers".

In its October 25 order, the apex court sought to strike a fine balance between the urgent imperatives of public health and the rights of the manufacturers of the Rs 20,000-crore firecracker industry. That is the same amount of firecrackers burst a year ago.

Delhi police had vowed to punish violaters of the Supreme Court order but could not immediately say whether charges had been made.

For a second year, New Delhi's chief minister has likened the city to a "gas chamber". Air pollution worsens in winter anyway, with the burning of crop residue in nearby rural areas, and the use of diesel generators among the factors at play.

KSPCB's data shows that the average AQI during Diwali was 110, an increase of almost 50% from the AQI of 73.5 observed between October 31 and November 5. This means that even healthy people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on a prolonged exposure to such air.

With levels of air pollution classed as "hazardous", the restriction on the almost 40,000 medium and heavy lorries that enter Delhi every day was imposed late Thursday (Nov 8).

The Centre, in collaboration with the Delhi government, has launched a 10-day "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1 to 10 to monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action.

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