Despite the fact that the city has banned fireworks due to the high levels of pollution, residents continued to let off fireworks well into the night on Sunday.
The air quality in Delhi has been poor for several weeks, prompting the government to announce an early winter vacation for schools in an effort to safeguard the city’s young population.
The emissions from vehicles and dust contribute to the city’s consistently high levels of pollution, which persist throughout the year.
Delhi AQI: Toxic haze in India capital after Diwali festival
The situation, however, gets far more severe during the winter months as a result of farmers in adjacent states burning agricultural waste. Low wind speeds make it more difficult to breathe because they trap contaminants in the lower atmosphere, such as those from firecrackers.
According to the federal government’s Safar app, Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) on Monday afternoon was 445; however, some locations recorded values that were higher than 520. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool that assesses the concentration of PM 2.5 in the air. PM 2.5 refers to tiny particulate matter that has the potential to clog the lungs and cause a variety of ailments.
Levels between 101 and 200 are seen as having a mild impact, while levels between 201 and 300 are regarded as having a negative impact. “Very poor” describes a score between 301 and 400, while “severe” describes a score that is greater than 400.
The rules of the World Health Organisation state that an individual’s exposure to PM 2.5 over the course of a 24-hour period should be limited to 15 micrograms per cubic metre; nevertheless, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in some areas of Delhi is thirty times higher than the recommended amount.
Lung scientists have determined that breathing the hazardous air in the capital is equivalent to smoking 25–30 cigarettes each and every day.
People may experience discomfort as well as breathing issues if they are exposed to high amounts of pollution for an extended period of time. Some of the serious neurological, cardiovascular, and respiratory disorders that it can cause include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, lung capacity loss, emphysema, cancer, and increased mortality rates. It can also irritate the skin and the eyes.
The Supreme Court of India has placed a prohibition on the use of traditional firecrackers during the festival of Diwali. Instead, only “green crackers” or those with decreased emissions are permitted. During the past few years, the government of Delhi has also prohibited the use of firecrackers during the celebration of Diwali; however, the restriction is rarely enforced.
The prohibition on the use of pyrotechnics has also taken on political overtones, with some people claiming that it is an attempt to discriminate against Hindu celebrations.
Gopal Rai, the environment minister of Delhi, made the accusation on Monday that leaders from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power nationally but in opposition in Delhi, “incited” people to light firecrackers. The BJP is currently the ruling party in India.
“The lighting of firecrackers has contributed to an increase in Delhi’s already high levels of pollution. Mr. Rai, a member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), stated that while the act of setting off firecrackers was not carried out by a large number of people, it was carried out in specific locations in a targeted manner.
However, Virendra Sachdeva, the president of the BJP’s Delhi chapter, told the local media that it was unfair to blame the people celebrating the festival for the increase in the city’s pollution levels. He stated that rather than being responsible for the issue, the AAP was to blame because they did not have a specific plan to deal with the problem.
The return of Delhi’s unhealthy air quality on Monday after showers that began falling on Friday morning contributed to a reduction in the city’s pollution levels during the weekend.