New Delhi: It was Delhi’s cleanest Diwali in three years following a Supreme Court ban on sale of crackers in the national capital region (NCR) but pollution still soared as many residents went ahead with their fireworks.
According to data and monitoring by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) and the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi had an air quality index (AQI) of 319, which falls in the very poor category on Thursday. During this level of air quality, people are asked to avoid all outdoor physical activities and stay indoors as much as possible.
However, this was much better than 2016 when AQI on Diwali was 431 and 343 in 2015. In the wee hours of Friday, the day after Diwali, the AQI for Delhi was 340. In 2016, the AQI of the day after was 445 while in 2015 it was 360.
Even though firecrackers were burst in most parts of the city, the volume was much less due to lack of easy availability. While some people claimed to have travelled out of the city to buy the rockets and sparklers, many others said they used last year’s stock.
On Diwali night on Thursday, a huge spike in air quality was noticed at different spots in the city. Anand Vihar, the most polluted spot in Delhi, had the highest PM10 reading at 2402 microgram per cubic metre, according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee real-time monitoring.
At 11pm in RK Puram, PM10 read 1179 while PM2.5, the finer particulate matter, was 878 microgram per cubic metre, the highest across all DPCC stations this Diwali. The permissible limit of PM10 and PM2.5 are 100 and 60 microgram per cubic metre.
In Punjabi Bagh, PM10 reached 1600 microgram per cubic metre at midnight while at Mandir Marg it touched 1046 microgram per cubic metre at 1am.