Authorities Warn Of Deterioration Of Delhi’s Air Quality After Diwali

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'Hazardous' air pollution in India's capital prompts emergency measures

Diwali is a happy occasion because it celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

"Even if 50% of the total load of toxic fire crackers as compared to Diwali previous year is added, the prevailing weather conditions would aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in "severe" category for at least two days (8 and 9 November)", said the report. The GRAP is an emergency plan implemented in phases to combat pollution depending upon the air quality of the city. But a sharp spike in smog on Monday morning - which recorded a reading of 365 on the Air Quality Index (AQI) - has effectively put the city's air in the "hazardous" category.

In a rather frightening warning over the smog situation in Delhi, reports quoted doctors as saying that the national capital air was like a "death sentence".

"As expected there is a significant intrusion of bio-mass generated pollution in Delhi which is increasing pollution levels and made it very poor in spite of moderate surface wind speed", he said.

Heavy industrialization and a rising standard of living are the most common causes of high concentrations of air pollution in the cities on this list - though they are not the only culprits.

The deployment of teams come ahead of the festival season when the air quality is expected to deteriorate to severe levels due to local factors as well as regional factors like the stubble burning.

In Delhi NCR, the PM2.5 was recorded 237 and PM10 was recorded at 366, the CPCB data said.

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The measures include installing filters in classrooms and cancelling outdoor activities.

The air quality is expected to worsen in the coming days due to the use of firecrackers, experts have warned.

The average volume of PM2.5 and PM10, or particles with a diameter less than 2.5 and 10 microns, across 35 regions in Delhi was 368 and 507 microgrammes per cubic meters, which was 14 times higher than the limit.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed the state pollution control bodies of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to start criminal prosecution against agencies or individuals who do not comply with directives to check air pollution. As emergency measures are being taken to check pollution in Delhi-NCR, the government has banned diesel and petrol vehicles ranging from 10 to 15 years old.

Fortis Healthcare's Dr. Avi Kumar, consultant Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said that people using inhalers should keep it handy as crackers (burst at Diwali and after that) emit suspended particles (smoke) and toxins gases that can trigger asthma, cause severe headaches, respiratory diseases and chronic cough.

Authorities said that Delhi's air quality turned "severe" on October 30, with stubble burning intensifying in neighbouring states.

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