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Post-Diwali air pollution in Delhi ‘severe’, but better than 2016

New Delhi, Oct 20 : A thick haze enveloped Delhi and parts of the National Capital Region on Friday morning after a Diwali night that was less noisy than the previous year though the Supreme Court ban didn’t deter revellers from bursting firecrackers.

The volume of ultra fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10 also witnessed sharp increase after 7 p.m. on Diwali night, online indicators of pollution monitoring stations in Delhi and NCR showed.

According to Central Pollution Control Board data, the air quality index in Delhi and adjoining Gurugram and Noida satellite towns was recorded “very poor” at 15 monitoring stations – where it ranged from 339 to 390. The index value between 300 and 400 is considered “very poor” that can cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

It measured above severe level (401-500) in at least three places of Delhi. The severe level means that air pollution can even affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases.

But the air quality was still better than last year post Diwali when the air quality index in Delhi and NCR on an average measured 445. In 2015, it was 360.

The Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers didn’t prevent people from lighting sparklers, rockets and loud Diwali “bombs” though the volume was lower than previous years. Some people claimed to have travelled out of the city or shopped online to buy firecrackers, while many claimed they used last year’s leftover stock to celebrate Diwali.

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