Delhi Pollution: Air quality remains at very poor category

According to a report of the Central Pollution Control Board, Kolkata's average AQI (air quality index) from 4pm on Tuesday, 6 November, till 4pm on Wednesday, 7 November, was 326.

The police admitted that there were violations, adding that they would take serious legal action against those violating the apex court order.

The Supreme Court sought to regulate urban India's toxic air pollution crisis by setting two hour windows for bursting crackers this Diwali.

It had allowed manufacture and sale of just "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals.

The air was hazardous at some areas with the AQI almost touching 500.

The court said the police should ensure that there is no sale of banned firecrackers and in case of any violation, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the police station of the area would be held personally liable and this would amount to committing contempt of the court. This installation is a sure indicator of what quality of air Delhi is breathing and there should be immediate measures to improve the situation.

Areas affected the most included Anand Vihar (AQI: 999), Lodhi Road (AQI: 500), Chanakyapuri (AQI 459) and the localities around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium (AQI: 999), all under "hazardous" category.

All efforts to curb air pollution on Diwali went up in smoke on Wednesday in the state capital, which anyway carries the ignominy of being the fifth-most polluted city in the world, and the air quality on Thursday worsened to almost five times the prescribed safe limit. Levels from 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401 and above is "severe".

As the air quality worsened, the PWD has begun sprinkling water at some places to control dust and pollution levels.

Patna, Bihar: The monitoring station at the planetarium complex in Bihar's capital city read 416 - also categorised as severe - on the morning after Diwali.

Mumbai Mirror, with the help of activists, surveyed various parts of the city on Diwali night and, even though noise and air pollution levels were not as bad as a year ago, they were still way above the danger mark.

These indices measure the concentration of tiny poisonous particulate matter. Delhi was at the sixth position with 143 PM 2.5.

Doctors also warned of the ill-effects that the severe air pollution could have on the health of people. Around this time a year ago, he declared a public health crisis, shutting down schools for a week and told residents to remain indoors.

India's problems with smog extend far beyond Delhi - the nation of 1.3 billion has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

  • Joe Gonzales