Wondering About Air Quality After Diwali? Here’s How You Check It

Heavy pollution during early morning hours after Diwali night in New Delhi on Thursday

New Delhi topped the chart with air quality index (AQI) recorded at 420.

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

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh: The monitoring centre at Talkatora District Industrial Centre in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh recorded literally the worst air in India this morning with an Air Quality Index score of 430 - categorised as "Severe".

Two days after Diwali, the air quality across NCR remains in the severe category with an average AQI reading of 466 for PM 10 as well as PM 2.5 levels.

The government has been unable to enforce a ban on bursting fireworks in most places.

Vehicles on Delhi roads generate roughly 20 percent of these tiny particles in the air, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream and which are linked to chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research said the PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels were also in the severe category.

While other cities across north India recorded AQI scores of between 300 and 350, the air was significantly better in central and southern cities - with with the air in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, deemed "satisfactory" with a AQI score of only 64. The PM10 level was six times the permissable limit at 618 gm-3, according to SAFAR. Any reading between 301 and 400 is "very poor" and can cause "respiratory illness on prolonged exposure". This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by SAFAR.

The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 PM to 10 PM on Diwali and allowed sale of only "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals.

On Wednesday night Delhites largely defied a court order and set off an enormous barrage of smoke-spewing firecrackers to celebrate the major Hindu festival of Diwali, sending pollution levels soaring. These included Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens' Delhi, IP Extension, Dwarka and Noida Sector-78.

Twitter users took to the microblogging site posting pictures of people burning crackers wearing masks and slammed the "mass contempt" of Supreme Court's order.

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