Almost 50 Lakh Kg of Firecrackers Burst This Diwali in Delhi

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The pollution-regulating authorities, however, said the air quality after this Diwali remained better than what it was a year ago. The AQI was 281 at 7 pm.

The court also ruled that firecrackers could only be set off between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm, but their bangs were still reverberating around city neighbourhoods well after midnight. An Air Quality Index reading between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is considered satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is severe or hazardous.

The air quality in large parts of Pune dropped to "very poor" during Diwali, as several people violated the Supreme Court's directive about a two-hour window to burst firecrackers during the festival.

The police admitted there were violations, and that they would take serious legal action against firecracker sellers. The AQI around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium touched 999 (the maximum level for the monitors) while the U.S. embassy in Chanakyapuri scored 459, all under the "hazardous" category.

A year ago the Supreme Court completely banned the sale and use of the smoke-spewing crackers in Delhi after an 2016 "airpocalypse" at Diwali saw pollution levels rocket off the scale. North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) also sprinkled water on trees in the area around Delhi University's North Campus to settle the dust, as a pollution control measure.

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There was some respite for the residents of state capital on Friday as the level of Air Quality Index (AQI) plunged 79 points over the last 24 hours, but it continued to remain in the "very poor" category.

Smog had been increasing in recent day, and schools have been closed for three days and all kinds of construction work has been ordered to halt, but Diwali fireworks added to the pollution.

Severe pollution levels mean people are likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure and it will impact even healthy people. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly.

A high level of tiny particulate matter can lodge deep into the lungs and cause major health problems.

Delhi's air quality typically worsens in winter, due to pollution from the burning of rice stubble, diesel engines, coal-fired power plants and industrial emissions. As a result, there has been a quantum jump in pollution levels in various cities the day after the festival of lights, virtually turning them into gas chambers. Around this time a year ago, he declared a public health crisis, shutting down schools for a week and told residents to remain indoors.

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