Less pollution this Diwali but Delhi's air quality has entered severe zone

Frederick Owens
October 21, 2017

"Air pollution has risen though the cracker sale dropped by 40 per cent. Air pollution was at an alarming high in Chennai on Diwali night on Thursday, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board authorities say as a cloud of smog descended over the city reducing visibility.The PM10 levels at Sowcarpet in north Chennai for instance touched 777, compared to 180 past year - four times the level".

Hence, while many of us might be rejoicing at the "clean" Diwali we had this year, it's time to assess the real damage caused.

Gujarat capital Ahmedabad recorded the best air quality amongst the megacities.

The annual post-Diwali report by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) showed that particulate matter 10 (PM 10), which is a grainy pollutant that lodges in the upper respiratory system, ranged from 331-951 ig/m3.

The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city Friday morning glowed red, indicating a "very poor" air quality.

No firecrackers for Delhi this Diwali! Nevertheless, the day's average provided a clearer picture.

Levels of PM10 particulates - polluting particles that are so small they can settle in the lungs - soared to 2,000 micrograms per cubic metre at the height of the celebration, The Times of India reported.

More news: Volkswagen to take on Pikes Peak with a purpose-built electric racer

Air pollution in Delhi has become a major public policy issue in recent years as residents wake up to the life-threatening implications of breathing air frequently ranked among the world's most toxic.

Over 1,200 kg of firecrackers have been seized and 29 people arrested by police as part of a drive being carried out after the Supreme Court order temporarily banning the sale of firecrackers.

Delhi's air quality typically worsens at the onset of winter, due to pollution from diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, industrial emissions and atmospheric dust.

Met officials said the Capital's air was unlikely to clear up before Sunday, when strong winds are expected to rush in. At Triplicane near the Marina, it was 597, compared to 200 previous year, a three fold rise.A senior officer said, "Rise in sparklers and a unfavourable weather led to the spike".

However, scientists pointed out that the air quality remained at unsafe levels.

Sulphur Dioxide levels, that otherwise remain very low in the NCR region, increased by more than three times at several locations. "But the emergency level was breached on Diwali night", an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment stated.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article