Right after Diwali gifted Delhi with what seemed like a breath of fresh air, the joyous respite quickly evaporated into thin ‘smoggy’ air. Monday morning saw a thick toxic haze that enveloped Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, and the neighbouring regions. This unwelcome return followed the violation of the Supreme Court’s ban order on bursting crackers during Diwali night, exacerbating the already severe pollution in the National Capital Region.
Visuals from various parts of Delhi depicted thick haze engulfing the streets, drastically reducing visibility to a few hundred meters. Locals turned to social media to express their frustration as the Air Quality Index (AQI) soared back to ‘hazardous’ levels, undoing the brief relief brought by rain that had cleared the heavily polluted air in the capital. Images and videos circulated on social media in the early morning, revealing the severe consequences of fireworks on the already compromised air quality.
Take a Look:
According to IQAir, on Diwali day (November 12), the AQI was around 262, but it escalated to a ‘hazardous’ level, reaching approximately 412. The concentration of PM 2.5 levels surged to nearly 30 times the permissible hourly standards for ultrafine particles. The spike, occurring between midnight and 2 a.m., was expected to gradually shift Delhi’s AQI to the ‘very poor’ category later in the day.
Also Read: Delhi’s Current Air Quality Can Lead To Heart Attack; Bengaluru Cardiologist Explains How
In a pre-Diwali showdown, the Supreme Court, sensing the impending environmental disaster, clarified that its ban on barium and prohibited chemicals in fireworks wasn’t a mere suggestion for the National Capital Region but a nationwide directive. Despite the government’s ‘Diya Jalao, Patakhe Nahi’ campaign and the Supreme Court’s crackdown, reports of ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ air quality flooded in from many quarters.
Data further highlighted specific areas, with Rohini at 454 AQI, Anand Vihar at 445 AQI, Nehru Nagar at 442, Mandir Marg at 431, and Jahangirpuri at 430 AQI level.
Also Read: This Video Of Toxic Haze Choking Delhi Is As Scary As It Gets
This brings us to the question: Will the capital ever truly breathe easy, or are we destined to play this haze-and-seek game every year?