Delhi’s air quality recorded in ‘hazardous’ category in some places after Diwali, no improvement until Sunday
The air quality in Delhi was recorded in the “hazardous” category at Janpath in the city early on Friday, a day after the celebrations of Diwali. The particulate matter (PM) 2.5 concentration was recorded at 655.07 in Janpath on Friday morning, according to news agency ANI. As per government standards, PM 2.5 concentrations over 380 are marked as “severe.”
The Delhi government’s complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers, including green crackers, on the day of Diwali, went for a toss after the people were seen celebrating the festival by bursting crackers on the streets, according to several news reports.
The bursting of crackers further aggravated the degrading air quality in the city, amid the increased contribution from farm fires and stubble burning, the ANI report showed.
Several people in the national capital reportedly complained of itchy throat and watery eyes after a thick blanket of smog shrouded the Delhi skies, the report also showed.
“The overall air quality of Delhi is plunged into the upper end of very poor category... It will continue to fall now and may enter at the edge of the "very poor" to "severe" category by tonight,” the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research’s (SAFAR) air quality forecast for Delhi during Diwali this year showed.
“If firecrackers are burned even 50 per cent of last year then PM2.5 will enter 'severe' category by midnight and shoot up rapidly by today early morning with AQI even crossing 500,” it further said.
The two major factors contributing to the pollution on Friday were the extremely calm wind conditions in Delhi combined with a 25 per cent stubble share (2,293 fire count), SAFAR noted.
According to the SAFAR model forecast, the stubble share in the pollution is expected to touch approximately 35 per cent on the day and further become nearly 40% on November 6 and November 7. “Relief is expected only from the evening of November 7 but AQI will fluctuate within the Very Poor range,” it further said.
On Thursday, Delhi's air quality index was recorded at 382 and remained in the "very poor" category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) data.