Despite several restrictions and the two-hour window to burst only “green crackers” ordered by the Supreme Court, the national capital didn’t appear to adhere to the 10 pm deadline and continued to light polluting firecrackers over time.
Delhi has failed spectacularly in preventing the air quality from falling into the “dangerous” category on Diwali. The overall AQI was recorded at 302 at 11 pm, which fell in the very poor category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The air quality began to deteriorate from 7 pm on Diwali evening. The AQI rose from 281 at 7 pm to 291 an hour later and by 10 pm, it was 296, said the CPCB.
The AQI level from 0 to 50 is considered good, 51 to 100 is satisfactory, 101 to 200 is moderate, 201 to 300 is poor, 301 to 400 is very poor, and 401 and above is severe.
The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations indicated “poor” and “very poor” air quality as the volume of ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 8 pm.
The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of crackers from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali. It had allowed manufacture and sale of only “green crackers”, which have a low light and sound emission and less harmful chemicals.