Diwali Night Pollution in Delhi Breached Emergency Levels, Air Quality Deteriorates

Lester Mason
October 21, 2017

The statement said that the assessment of ambient air quality as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) protocol undertaken at 16 locations across the city revealed that the level of air pollution was less in comparison to past year. Also pollution control has to go beyond Diwali where people should auto pool or take public transport.

"It was observed that positive outcome of the anti-fire cracker campaign was that School children have increasingly become aware of the need to celebrate Diwali with Diyas, instead of firecrackers", the ministry said.

He further added, "People in poorer countries - like construction workers in New Delhi - are more exposed to air pollution and less able to protect themselves from exposure, as they walk, bike or ride the bus to workplaces that may also be polluted". Nevertheless, the day's average provided a clearer picture. While the average wind speed in the city in general is 2.8 m/sec, on Diwali the city recorded less than 1 m/sec.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) also released data based on monitoring at 16 sites.

An analysis conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment stated that the situation could have been worse if the firecracker ban hadn't been enforced.

"Pollution levels fluctuate in accordance with emission levels and weather patterns".

One in six of all deaths worldwide are caused by pollution, and the vast majority occur in developing and industrialising countries like India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, among others, the report said. On the brighter side, noise pollution levels were at their lowest when compared to the last four years.

Met officials said the Capital's air was unlikely to clear up before Sunday, when strong winds are expected to rush in.

Measures under the GRAP's "very poor" and "severe" categories, which include a ban on diesel generator sets, have come into effect and will remain in force till 15th of March next year.

These numbers buck a historical trend in which smog and pollution peak in the 24 hours following Diwali, though it still remains to be seen if the pollution will clear in the next few days.

"It is clear that the Delhi-NCR region requires a longer term and systemic action than a one-off ban", said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE.

Although firecrackers were burst in most parts of the city, the volume was much less due to lack of easy availability.

"Till previous year, we used to measure just PM 10 and that has gone down".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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