India’s capital Delhi to witness ‘severe’ 170% rise in toxic pollutants after Diwali night

Diwali night pollution

This year, Diwali has brought real bad news for India’s capital Delhi. In terms of pollution, India’s capital Delhi was ranked first in the world. The air of Delhi was declared highly toxic by various studies and now, with Diwali arriving, the meteorological department of Delhi has warned of alarming rise in concentration of hazardous pollutants due to customary tradition of bursting firecrackers.

The festival of lights is no more safe for people, especially young and elders, who have been advised to stay indoors to avert respiratory and lung diseases caused by PM (particulate matter) 2.5 and PM 10.

As per the report of Systems of Air Quality, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which is responsible for tracking pollution levels in Delhi, predicts dense haze formation on November 12-13.

Unfortunately, as compared to last year’s Diwali in October, this year, festival is falling in the month of November. Due to cold, the holding capacity of atmosphere is high and PM 2.5 and PM 10 will be caught in tiny droplets and multiply it resulting in more particles in suspended air itself.

diwali pollution

According to SAFAR’s Project In-charge, Gurfan Beig , “Winter is now set and temperature during Diwali-2015 is going to be colder as compared to last year’s Diwali-2014 which was in October. There is enough moisture in the air and atmospheric holding capacity is quite high for particles emitting from firecrackers. In all likelihood, air quality during Diwali-2015 is going to be inferior.”

The PM 2.5 level is expected to rise by 148% on November 12 and 170% in case of PM 10. The peak time pollution is expected at 1 am and the duration for maximum pollution will be between 10 pm to 2 pm on the intervening night of November 11 and 13 and 7-8 am early morning.

“Everyone with heart and lung diseases, older and adult and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. There is a serious risk respiratory effect in general public in prolonged exposure,” Mr Beig added.

While green activists and organizations are trying to create awareness among general public regarding deteriorating condition air quality in India, it is really hard to convince children not to bust firecrackers. Not just Delhi, but other parts of India also witness excess rise in pollutants on Diwali night, but Delhi is worst hit. According to environmental experts, it’s time for the Indian government to take stringent steps to reduce busting firecrackers as the planet can’t take any more of it.


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