Thick Faze, Smog Persist In Delhi, Air Quality Slips To 'Hazardous'

Cesar Mills
November 10, 2018

Diwali is always one of the worst times of year for air quality, as firework smoke mixes with auto exhaust fumes, factory emissions and construction dust. This is almost double the pollution levels of a year ago post Diwali, when the AQI was around 367.

The court had asked the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) measured in five stations in the city, which was classified as good and satisfactory last week is now moderate.

The "hazardous" figure is roughly 33 times the World Health Organization safe limit of 25 and health experts advise people to stay indoors or use masks for protection.

Many others said the ceaseless bursting of firecrackers on Diwali night in violation of the court directive has highlighted the difficulties faced by government agencies in enforcing orders when laws are routinely flouted and accentuated the "large gap" between the law and the capacity to enforce it.

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"Despite widespread publicity of the Supreme Court's order by the district administration, some people were found violating the orders and a first information report has been registered against them under the Indian Penal Code's section 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by public servant)", City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra said in a statement.

The overall AQI on Thursday was recorded in the "severe plus emergency" category at 642 in Delhi, according to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) data.

The air quality started deteriorating rapidly from 7 pm on Wednesday.

Twenty three areas in Delhi recorded "severe" air quality while eight recorded "very poor" quality air, according to Central Pollution Control Board.

A "very poor" AQI translates into spike in respiratory illnesses and if the air quality dips further, the AQI turns "severe", which troubles healthy individuals and seriously affects those with health issues. In case of a violation, the station house officer of the police station concerned would be held personally liable and it would amount to committing contempt of the court, the court had said. These included Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens' Delhi, IP Extension, Dwarka and Noida Sector-78.

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