Delhi-NCR AQI Falls into Poor Category Again, Supreme Court’s Order Goes Up in Smoke.

Supreme Court of India
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Pune, November 13, 2023 – The people of Delhi-NCR experienced relief from weeks of bad air pollution. However, the quality of air in Delhi-NCR again reached the severe category on the night of Diwali. Despite the Supreme Court’s ban on bursting firecrackers, many were still ignited in Delhi, leading to dangerous pollution levels in the capital and its surrounding areas.

People gathered in major areas of Delhi to burst firecrackers until late Sunday night. Although air pollution levels had improved somewhat after the rains in Delhi-NCR on Thursday, air quality fell into the poor category after Diwali. Areas like Shahpur Jat, Hauz Khas, Defense Colony, Chhatarpur, East of Kailash, Mandir Marg, and Paharganj in Delhi witnessed fireworks after 6 pm. Many residents in these areas and surrounding regions stayed indoors.

Speaking to the news agency PTI, environmentalist Bhavreen Kandhari said, “The Supreme Court’s strict stance on firecrackers went up in smoke. Despite warnings and a blanket ban, the responsible authorities failed once again. I wonder what stance the Supreme Court will take on this.” Adding further, she said, “We are allowing our children to live a life of suffocation in the name of celebration.”

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), in Anand Vihar, the concentration of PM2.5 levels was within 56 ppm until 5 pm on Sunday, increasing to around 2000 ppm at midnight. On November 7, the Supreme Court declared that its order to ban barium-containing firecrackers would be mandatory for all states, extending this order to the entire country.

Apart from this, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in many major cities of the country has worsened. On the day after Diwali, Monday (November 13), AQI was 340 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, 317 in Cuttack, 306 in Angul, 334 in Balasore, 352 in Talcher, 381 in Begusarai of Bihar, 336 in Bhagalpur, 311 in Gaya, and 311 in Patna. It reached 338 in Purnia, 338 in Rajgir, 352 in Katihar, 315 in Dholpur of Rajasthan, 304 in Kota, and 316 in Dhule of Maharashtra. It is noteworthy that AQI between 0 to 50 is ‘good’, 51 to 100 is ‘satisfactory’, 101 to 200 is ‘moderate’, 201 to 300 is ‘poor’, 301 to 400 is ‘very poor’, and between 401 and 450 is considered ‘severe’. When AQI goes above 450, the situation becomes very serious.