Delhi Pollution: Air quality in capital like smoking 50 cigarettes a day

Air pollution levels have spiked in Delhi following bursting of firecrackers on Diwali

"The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) also constituted teams to check the ban on sale of crackers as per the Supreme Court orders".

The Air Quality in Delhi was already in red zone due to accumulated pollutants and the recent stubble burning in neighbouring states Haryana and Punjab.

A day after Diwali, political parties expressed their concern over the deteriorating air quality in the city. Notably, it was lower than the a year ago. Past year on Diwali, the maximum PM 2.5 level was recorded at 823µg/m³. "The wind speed is expected to pick up and reach up to 9 km/hour, which is adequate enough for the dispersion of suspended particulates".

HSPCB had installed five temporary units to monitor air and noise levels in the city to check pollution before and after Diwali. According to Sudhakar A, member-secretary of CPCB, the air quality was definitely better than past year, when the air index was as high as 450.

The improvement was captured by the pollution monitoring stations.

High humidity, low wind speed and low temperatures meant the pollutants hovered very close to the surface and could not be dispersed, he added. Among the stations maintained by the CPCB, nine of the 17 were in the "very poor" category, while the rest recorded "severe" air quality.

As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, a significant fall in the volume of particulars PM2.5, PM10 and gaseous pollutant SO2 (sulphur dioxide) was recorded across the national capital on the Diwali night, as compared to a year ago. Contrary to Sharma's claims the pollution level has crossed unsafe level in the city on the Diwali night. If people have burst crackers despite a ban on these, then laxity has been shown in controlling its sale. The court said the ban would be in effect till November 1.

A senior Delhi government official said that anti-crackers campaigns were held with the help of eco clubs at schools and colleges.

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