Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Delhi's air quality to remain 'severe' till Saturday: SAFAR

Delhi air pollution Delhi-NCR air turns hazardous as SCs firecracker order goes up in flames
Steven Clarke | 10 November, 2018, 00:36

The emergency measures include odd-even rationing of private vehicles.

A report by research group Urban Emissions said close to 50 lakh kg of firecrackers were burnt in Delhi this year, the same amount of firecrackers burnt last year which equated to 1,50,000 kg of mass of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 mm).

The capital's air quality would remain in the severe category till Saturday and the already toxic situation caused by smoke from fireworks is likely to aggravate further due to intensified stubble burning in neighbouring states, government-run agency SAFAR said on Friday.

All week, traders had been asking for clarification over what green firecrackers were.

The Supreme Court has allowed people to burst firecrackers from 8pm to 10pm only on Diwali and other festivals.

Thick blanket of smog and fog have shrouded the national capital after the country celebrated the festival of light- Diwali.

Michelle Obama reveals she had miscarriage and used IVF to conceive girls
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The Delhi police said it has registered over 550 cases and arrested more than 300 people for violating the court's order. "It is insane", Pranav Yadav, a 19-year-old student wearing a pollution mask as he headed for a metro train, told AFP. Patiala, Khanna and Rupnagar, had recorded 150, 186, and 83 AQI on Diwali day respectively which had gone upto, 264, 208 and 146 on Diwali night.

The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city indicated "poor" and "very poor" air quality as the volume of ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 8 pm. The AQI rose from 281 at 7 pm to 291 an hour later and by 10 pm, it was 296, said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The Air Quality Index (AQI) measured in five stations in the city, which was classified as good and satisfactory last week is now moderate. The PM10 level was six times the permissable limit at 618 gm-3, according to SAFAR.

The SAFAR had warned that even if partial toxic firecrackers as compared to previous year were burnt, then the air quality would fall in the "severe" category. AQI above 500 falls in the "severe-plus emergency" category. This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by Safar.

Last month, in a bid to control pollution, the Supreme Court allowed the use of "green" firecrackers for Diwali but only if they were let off between 8-10 pm.

Despite the order, certain places reported violation of the specified time period. These included Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens' Delhi, IP Extension, Dwarka and Noida Sector-78.

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