Thick Layer Of Smog Engulfs Delhi After Diwali Celebration

Story Highlights
  • National Capital witnessed a thick layer of smog on November 5th.
  • The air quality on Diwali deteriorated from ‘very poor’ category to ‘severe’ category.
  • Despite the Delhi government's ban on firecrackers, several people were seen bursting crackers.

New Delhi: A thick blanket of smog engulfed the national capital as the air quality in Delhi deteriorated to the “severe” category a day after Diwali on Friday. The air quality at Janpath was recorded in the “hazardous” category early on Friday, with the particulate matter 2.5 concentration at 655.07, according to sources. At several locations in Delhi, firecrackers were burst on Diwali in complete disregard to the government’s ban on it coinciding with a sharp increase in fumes from farm fires. The share of farm fires in Delhi’s pollution increased to the seasons highest at 25%.

The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (424), Ghaziabad (442), Gurgaon (423) and Noida (431) also recorded ‘severe’ air quality. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. Experts said the air quality turned severe due to unfavourable meteorological conditions, calm winds, low temperature and low mixing height, and a poisonous cocktail of emissions from firecrackers and stubble burning.

Air quality forecast agency SAFAR said the PM2.5 concentration would shoot up rapidly on Friday, with the AQI even crossing the 500 mark. Relief is expected only from the evening of November 7 but AQI will fluctuate within the “very poor” range, the air quality forecast agency said. A day ahead of Diwali, the air quality in Delhi entered the “very poor” category for the first time this season and AQI was recorded at 303 on Tuesday.

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