Post Diwali, Delhi grapples with 'very poor' air quality

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The official said they are waiting for meteorological conditions to become stable and then use cloud seeding for inducing artificial rain.

The overall AQI Thursday was recorded in the "severe plus emergency" category at 642.

Researchers had forecast a "very poor" air quality index, or AQI, of 306 for Wednesday, considering pollution from firecrackers.

The police admitted that violations were observed and it would take serious legal action against the people violating the apex court order.

After a cocktail of toxic fumes enveloped the area in October and November past year, the Delhi city government declared it a public health emergency and its Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the Indian capital as a "gas chamber".

In its crackdown on storing and selling polluting firecrackers, following the Supreme Court order, the Delhi Police arrested 31 people and seized over 600 kg illegal crackers on Diwali day.

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The Centre's System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) index showed the PM2.5 level at 303 micrograms per cubic metre, making it over five times the standard of 60.

It had allowed manufacture and sale of just "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals. The AQI was hazardous also in Satyawati and Anand Vihar. It is poor when between 201 to 300 and very poor between 301 to 400.

The top court had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the area would be held responsible. North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) also sprinkled water on trees in the area around Delhi University's North Campus to settle the dust, as a pollution control measure. It continued increasing slowly and crossed 250 (severe category) by 3 a.m.

Pollution levels were high in cities like Mumbai, Jaipur, and Kolkata as well. This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by SAFAR.

Tiny particulate matter can cause major health problems. Delhi was at the sixth position with 143 PM 2.5.

These lungs installation has Hepa Filters and as informed by the doctors, these will change their colours towards black, depicting the effect of air pollution in the surroundings. "Delhi has to be treated like a model, as it is the most polluted", stresses Aggarwal, former head of the Indian Medical Association, calling for guidelines on all combustible and polluting activity. Large swathes of India's northern states remained under dense smog that has shut hundreds of thousands of schools, disrupted air and railway services and forced residents to stay indoors.

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