Delhi bans trucks as mega-city chokes

Delhi bans trucks as mega-city chokes

It is likely to remain in the "severe" category on Friday and Saturday as the smoke emitted by firecrackers has slowed down the process of pollutant dispersion, a report by government-run agency SAFAR said Thursday. Over 250 cases of burn injuries were reported by various hospitals in the national capital this Diwali.

With air quality in areas breaching levels that are beyond hazardous, it's time to be aware, to know what you are breathing and how your lungs are getting clogged. It said it has seized over 7,900 kg of illegal firecrackers, including 2,500 kgs on the day of Diwali, since Supreme Court ordered a ban on the sale of old crackers on October 23.

A "severe plus emergency" AQI essentially means that even healthy people could suffer from respiratory illnesses like asthma on prolonged exposure.

Jalandhar topped the chart of having most polluted air in Punjab with 294 (poor) AQI on Diwali night till the time as Ludhiana, which had topped the chart with very poor AQI last Diwali, Diwali night AQI data was not available till November 8 evening.

The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city indicated "poor" and "very poor" air quality as the volume of ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 8 pm. Patiala, Khanna and Rupnagar, had recorded 150, 186, and 83 AQI on Diwali day respectively which had gone upto, 264, 208 and 146 on Diwali night. "As per satellite images, heavy fire counts were recorded in the last 24 hour and the latest SAFAR model results show a movement of cold front carrying heavy air mass towards Delhi region", SAFAR said. This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by Safar.

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 till late.

Delhi has failed spectacularly in preventing the air quality from falling into the "severe-plus emergency" category the morning after Diwali.

Despite the order, certain places reported violation of the specified time period.

Admitting that violations were observed, police said it was manually not possible to monitor every incident considering the population of the city and a complete ban on firecrackers can't be imposed till the entire community is willing to join hands.

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