A day after Diwali, residents of the National Capital Region woke up to dense smog as air quality dipped to the ‘severe’ category.
Diwali evening witnessed massive use of firecrackers across the national capital, despite the National Green Tribunal’s strict orders asking for a complete ban on crackers till 30 November in the national capital.
According to data provided by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 461 and 478 in ITO and Anand Vihar respectively.
Early morning visuals from Delhi Geeta colony showed that smog had shrouded parts of the national capital, resulting in reduced visibility, reported ANI.
At 500, the Air Quality Index for PM 2.5 pollutant was the highest in Jahangirpuri on the northern flanks of Delhi, followed by 491 in Ashok Vihar, 475 in Patparganj, 460 in Pusa Road, 450 in Lodhi Road and 442 at IGI Airport.
While an AQI between 101 and 200 is considered moderate, anything between 201 and 300 is consider ‘poor’, between 301 and 400 is considered ‘very poor’, and anything between 401 and 500 is labelled as ‘severe’.
An AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category. However, a Western Disturbance passing over the city is likely to bring light rain and increase wind speeds, likely improving air quality.
Residents Talk Pollution
With the air quality in red, several residents of the national capital took to Twitter to express their dismay.
Firecrackers Ban Ineffective in UP
Meanwhile, the ban on firecrackers in 13 Uttar Pradesh cities proved ineffective as people flouted the ban on Diwali night. The air quality index in Lucknow zoomed to 881 by midnight and settled at 427 on Sunday morning.
In Rajajipuram locality, the AQI was 752 on Sunday morning and Naka Hind, Qaiserbagh and Lalbagh areas recorded AQI at 450 – all in the 'hazardous' category.
While most people refrained from bursting crackers till about 8 pm when police vans were seen patrolling the various areas, firecrackers were reportedly burst extensively after 9 pm, including high decibel ones.
Reports of firecrackers being used also came in from cities like Kanpur where AQI was 750 on Sunday morning. Other cities that defied the ban include Meerut, Moradabad and several other cities in western districts.
A senior police official said that the administration has taken note of people defying the ban and necessary action would be taken against those responsible.