The morning after Diwali, Delhi woke up to a thick cloud of smog which worsened by the hour. Pollution levels in India’s capital and its satellite cities of Gurgaon and Noida have increased drastically a day after the lavish Diwali fireworks.
The air quality in Delhi and Noida deteriorated to the “very poor” level after the Diwali celebrations. At 7 am, Delhi’s overall air quality index stood at 506, according to the government’s air quality monitor, SAFAR. Earlier, around 4 am, the AQI touched 999!
People reported a violation of the two-hour window in Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Kailash Hills, Burari, Jangpura, Shahdara, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Sarita Vihar, Hari Nagar, New Friends Colony, Dwarka among others places.
Residents in Noida, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad also reported extensive fireworks much beyond the timeframe.
Despite several government initiatives, pollution levels failed to drop.
Delhi University, Rohini-Punjabi Bagh among the most polluted areas
Unsafe AQI levels in Delhi are an annual occurrence. As winds stall, smoke and dust from vehicular pollution, construction activity, crop burning in neighboring states and Diwali fireworks add to the woes of inhabitants of Delhi and NCR.
Haryana and Punjab fire counts almost doubled from during the past 48 hours and increased from 1200 to 2700 as evident from SAFAR-multi-satellite product.
Most polluted locations are Delhi University (North Campus), Pusa, Rohini-Punjabi Bagh, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, DTU and Bawana, Major residential areas, while the lowest polluted areas are Gurgaon, Ayananag and Nehru Stadium.
According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded earlier today, the levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were at 423 and 462 respectively in Chandni Chowk, while major pollutant levels of PM 2.5 were at 500 in ”Severe” category, in Lodhi Road area.
Here is the AQI of different cities in the National Capital Region ( Data from Breezo) :
Plan of action?
Both the Delhi and the Central governments have chalked out a fortnightly action plan to combat the air pollution menace in the national capital region.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the nodal agency of the Centre in the formulation and execution of the action plan. The period of the action plan is 1 to 15 November.
It is also planning to carry out the Odd-Even scheme for 12 days starting from 4 November to combat vehicular pollution.
In fact, the Delhi government has set aside a budget of Rs 5 crore to engage 5,000 civil defense volunteers for the scheme and out of this 500 will be engaged as environment marshals.
Last year, residents woke up to an AQI of 999 in Delhi post-Diwali!