On the day of Diwali, November 7, the concentration of PM 2.5 was 70µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre of air) and PM 10 was 115µg/m3, both of which fell in the moderate category, said Dr Gufran Beig, project director of the System of Air Quality and weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
Many residents of the city do not wear face masks when they go outside in heavy smog, in contrast to what happens in Beijing and other Chinese cities with a pollution problem.
The National Air Quality Index has dropped a Diwali bomb on Kolkata - air quality in the city over two festive nights was the worst among the metros.
Pune: The day after Laxmi Poojan (November 8) was even more toxic than the same day previous year, an analysis of the air pollution during Diwali by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology here has shown. The alarming statistics in the city points fingers at the air quality deteriorating and faring further below big metros during the Diwali fiesta this year.
At 11 pm on Wednesday, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 302, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The permissible limit of PM2.5 is 60 µg/m3 while that of pollutant PM10 is 100 µg/m3.
The Supreme Court has allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on Diwali and other festivals. The court had also directed the court to ensure compliance of its orders regarding no sale of banned firecrackers. Though several laws are in place to check pollution and courts have been repeatedly intervening in the matter, the situation on the ground remains alarming. The largest decrease was recorded in their monitoring station at NIMHANS where AQI of 83 was recorded, a significant drop from162 recorded previous year.
The police admitted that there were violations, adding that they would take serious legal action against those violating the apex court order.
The capital city has hit a new low when it comes to air quality. In the next 24 hours, including Diwali night, the AQI crept up to 354. Air pollution is one of the major killers in India and a risk factor for heart and pulmonary diseases. Any reading between 301 and 400 is "very poor" and can cause "respiratory illness on prolonged exposure".
The Centre, in collaboration with the Delhi government, has launched an aggressive 10-day-long "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1 to 10 to monitor and report polluting activities.