Delhi wakes up to choking air quality post Diwali

Indian Medical Association advises people to avoid firecrackers alcohol this Diwali

Environmentalist SM Ghosh said the metropolis got the dubious distinction of being one of the most-polluting cities on Diwali night.

According to The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), stubble burning was the "largest-ever recorded" for this year with 2,100 fire counts, which might lead to a further deterioration of the already "severe" air quality of the national capital.

In 2016, Diwali festivities raised pollution levels to their highest in almost two decades - forcing the closure of schools and other emergency measures. Here are the details.

Blaming that as the main reason behind New Delhi's poisonous air, a spokesman for the city government, said: "We can't take steps in isolation in Delhi; we can't build a wall". Thereafter, due to commencement of north-westerly winds, pollution level will decrease gradually.

The air quality in Delhi has reached "severe plus emergency" category following Diwali celebrations. "The Delhi Air Quality Index is 500+ at present". It implies that a person breathing in this air can develop breathing related difficulties.

After a cocktail of toxic fumes enveloped the area in October and November previous year, the Delhi city government declared it a public health emergency and its Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the Indian capital as a "gas chamber". Delhites woke up to heavy smog causing much difficulty to the masses. The higher the AQI score, the worse the air. Between 51 to 100, air quality is satisfactory. Air pollution is in severe in nature when the index figures rise above 401. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) sprinkled water on trees in the area around Delhi University's North Campus.

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Chief fire officer (DFS) Atul Garg told IANS the fire related calls were received from all across the national capital and the peak time was between 6 p.m. on Wednesday to 6 a.m. on Thursday.

The air was clean despite Diwali, as weather conditions helped disperse pollutants between Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Uttar Pradesh, a cover of smog could be seen in capital Lucknow and all prominent cities.

The court also said firecrackers could only be set off between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.

As State governments wring their hands over how to solve a problem like air pollution, the grim truth is that pollution is not just at our doorsteps, but inside our homes as well. The AQI deteriorated on Friday across the region with an AQI of 460 in Faridabad, 441 in Ghaziabad, 447 in Greater Noida, 453 in Bhiwadi, 442 in Noida and 400 in Gurugram.

The Mumbai Police's Twitter handle also saw a flurry of complaints from across the city of violation of the Supreme Court's directives on bursting of firecrackers.

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