Diwali fallout: Delhi tops global polluted list; 2 more Indian Cities hit hard
Post-Diwali haze: Delhi leads, with two more Indian Cities in Global top for air pollution
Despite a Supreme Court order banning certain firecrackers, Delhi woke up to a thick haze post-Diwali, with an air quality index (AQI) of 420, categorized as 'hazardous' by IQAir. The ban violations were noted in several areas of the national capital region, contributing to the deteriorating air quality. Additionally, Kolkata and Mumbai, facing the onset of winter and the impact of short-lived Diwali celebrations, rank fourth and eighth, respectively, among the world's top 10 most polluted cities.
Deteriorating air quality in Kolkata and Mumbai
In Kolkata, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board reported an AQI breach of 250 in most areas. Mumbai, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR-India), recorded a 'poor' AQI of 234. The AQI scale considers 0-100 as good, 100-200 as moderate, 200-300 as poor, 300-400 as very poor, and 400-500 or above as severe.
The Supreme Court, on November 7, had mandated a ban on firecrackers containing barium and other prohibited chemicals across all states, not limited to Delhi-NCR. Despite the court's order, the sound of intermittent firecrackers persisted, escalating as the night approached.
Call for enforcement and accountability
Criticism surfaced regarding the lack of enforcement and will to uphold the Supreme Court order. Congress MP Manish Tewari emphasized the need for accountability, suggesting that the Supreme Court should convene with states to address the failure to enforce the order.
Apart from firecrackers, farm fires, vehicle emissions, and industrial discharge are significant contributors to air pollution in the national capital and other regions. The alarming situation calls for coordinated efforts and strict enforcement of measures to combat air pollution.