Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Delhi bans entry of trucks to combat post-Diwali smog

Delhi bans entry of trucks to combat post-Diwali smog

The air quality in Delhi has reached "severe plus emergency" category following Diwali celebrations. This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to a SAFAR advisory.

A municipal worker with her daughter leaves after sweeping the India Gate area as a thick lawyer of pollution haze hangs a day after Diwali festival, in New Delhi, India, on November 8, 2018.

Mustafa Mohammed, a student and cycling enthusiast, said he could feel the air quality dip drastically as he set out on Thursday to the India Gate in the heart of the city.

Diwali is always one of the worst times of year for air quality, as firework smoke mixes with vehicle exhaust fumes, factory emissions and construction dust. The Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) air quality forecast suggests that air quality will continue at "very poor" levels for the next three days across NCR.

With air quality in areas breaching levels that are beyond hazardous, it's time to be aware, to know what you are breathing and how your lungs are getting clogged. These indices measure the concentration of tiny poisonous particulate matter.

Last month, in a bid to control pollution, the Supreme Court allowed the use of "green" firecrackers for Diwali but only if they were let off between 8-10 pm.

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"This year, Diwali day shows that the PM10 and PM2.5 values have increased this year compared to 2017". He said that last year average PM10 was 430µgm/m3 and PM2.5 was 226µgm/m3 whereas this year these are 277µgm/m3 and 126µgm/m3 respectively.

After a slight improvement on Diwali, Delhi's pollution level skyrockets to "severe" levels on Thursday midnight.

Jalandhar topped the chart of having most polluted air in Punjab with 294 (poor) AQI on Diwali night till the time as Ludhiana, which had topped the chart with very poor AQI last Diwali, Diwali night AQI data was not available till November 8 evening.

The national capital woke up to a yet another smoggy morning on Friday with the air quality in the "severe" category.

Many others said the ceaseless bursting of firecrackers on Diwali night in violation of the court directive has highlighted the difficulties faced by government agencies in enforcing orders when laws are routinely flouted and accentuated the "large gap" between the law and the capacity to enforce it.

India is home to 14 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world (WHO).

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