Pollution level went for a toss in the millennium city as the residents burst crackers to celebrate Diwali with festive fervour.
Calm winds and more moisture in the air on post-Diwali morning worsened the pollution build up, resulting in pollutants getting trapped in air for a longer time. The PM 2.5 level, the main constituent of air quality index, was recorded at 409 (severe level) at Gurugram. "The smoke from Diwali festivities on Thursday night added to the fall in visibility level".
According to SAFAR-the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research, the pollution indicator turned a deep shade of brown, indicating "severe" air quality in the national capital.
Even though the pollution levels did not soar like last Diwali, when Delhi experienced its worst smog in last five years, and in fact this Diwali was the "cleanest" in last three years, AQI observed a day after on Friday was very close to last year's.
The year 2017 has seen positive changes as for air pollution in Delhi because of various steps and measures were taken by Union Government, State Governments, and by Government of Delhi. On Friday, the AQI read 316 where an AQI between 301 and 400 is considered "very poor" and people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children are advised to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. In compliance with the High Court order, regarding the control of noise pollution during the festival season, the Punjab Pollution Control Board has collected data through the noise monitoring systems at a residential area (Model Town), silent zone (Civil Hospital) and a commercial area (near Gol Diggi) in the city.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) is empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Measures under the GRAP's "very poor" and "severe" categories, which include a ban on diesel generator sets, came into effect on October 17 and they will remain in force till March 15.