Day after Diwali, air-quality in Delhi slips to "very poor"
On the morning after Delhi residents celebrated Diwali with much pomp and show, the air quality in the national capital deteriorated and was recorded at "very poor". Noida too fell in the same category; Gurugram fared a little better with its air quality being dubbed as "poor". Though the data is worrisome, situation has improved drastically since last year. Here are more details.
Residents breached two-hour ban, burst firecrackers
The layer of haze which blanketed Delhi has been existing since last night. As per PTI, people violated the two-hour window set by Supreme Court for bursting crackers in the national capital. In Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Kailash Hills, Burari, Jangpura, Shahdara, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Sarita Vihar, Hari Nagar, New Friends Colony, and Dwarka, firecrackers were burst beyond time limit.
Noida's air quality is worse than Delhi's
The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi, Noida, and Gurugram was recorded at 306, 356, and 279 respectively. About air pollution, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said, "Although the air quality is predicted to be touching SEVERE levels in the wee hours on October 28, the peak level of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 is likely to be lowest."
Let's take a look at classification of AQI
To note, AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 is called "satisfactory", and that falling between 101 and 200 is termed "moderate". AQI between 201 and 300 is called "poor", between 301 and 400 "very poor", and between 401 and 500 "severe". Anything above 500 falls in the "severe-plus emergency" category. To give a perspective, Delhi's AQI was recorded at 642 last year.
Delhi University, Punjabi Bagh were among the worst-polluted areas
In Delhi, the worst-affected areas were Delhi University (North Campus), Pusa, Rohini-Punjabi Bagh, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, DTU, and Bawana. The places where residents took a sigh of relief were Gurugram, Ayananag and Nehru Stadium. As per data, PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels in Chandni Chowk reached 423 and 462 respectively. In Lodhi Road, PM 2.5 level was recorded at 500.
As NCR residents remained distressed in absence of clean air, authorities came up with a temporary solution. On Monday morning, tankers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) were seen sprinkling water on Laxminagar's roads. To recall, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government had also announced the return of odd-even formula in Delhi from November 4 to 15, 2019, to curb the menace of air pollution.
While Delhi choked, Mumbai, Kolkata performed better at AQI
As compared to Delhi, Mumbai fared better. The AQI of Mumbai oscillated between "satisfactory" and "moderate", with Powai recording the highest index at 143. In Kolkata, the quality of air was "moderate". AQI at Fort William was recorded at 191. And in Chennai's Alandur Bus Depot it was recorded at 180. Meanwhile, in Lucknow, AQI hit 339, and in Meerut, it touched 341.