New Delhi (NVI): The national capital engulfed in a blanket of smog this morning due to firecracker emissions during Diwali celebrations, which dipped the air quality index (AQI) to “severe” at several places across Delhi.
Almost all areas in the city logged PM2.5 levels above 400 with many regions nearing the 500-mark.
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) stood at 467, at around 8 am today, which falls in the ‘severe’ category.
Most of the areas in Delhi recorded the AQI for PM 2.5 pollutant which stood at 481 in Anand Vihar, 444 in IGI Airport area, 457 in ITO, and 414 in Lodhi Road area, all four in the ‘severe’ category, as per CPCB data.
This comes as many burst firecrackers in violation of the ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital by the Delhi government and the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Earlier, a layer of haze was also seen over Delhi-NCR on Diwali night as people defied ban and bursted firecrackers with calm winds allowing accumulation of pollutants.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said that even a small increase in local additional emissions is likely to have significant deterioration impact on air quality on Sunday and Monday.
Delhi recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 337 on Diwali last year on October 27 and 368 and 400 in the next two days leading to pollution levels remaining in the ‘severe’ category for three days.
This year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that a fresh western disturbance could increase the wind speed and improve the air quality in Delhi-NCR after Diwali.