Delhi-NCR defies SC’s Diwali order, pollution level plunged to ‘hazardous’ category

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Hours after Diwali celebrations, a thick haze enveloped Delhi-NCR as the air quality on November 8 morning plunged to hazardous’ category. Anand Vihar and areas around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium was among the areas in Delhi where the air quality index (AQI) was recorded at an alarming 999 today morning exposing people to major health risks.

Despite several restrictions and the two-hour window to burst only “green crackers” ordered by the Supreme Court, the national capital didn’t appear to adhere to the deadline and continued bursting firecrackers till late night leading to severe pollution level.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality was 302 AQI –‘very poor’ category — at 11 pm in Delhi-NCR. It began to deteriorate rapidly 7 pm onward when the AQI was recorded 281. It was 291 at 8 pm, 294 at 9 pm and 296 at 10 pm, according to the CPCB.

The SC had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer of the area would be held responsible.

However, violations order were reported from across Delhi, including areas like Anand Vihar, Jahangirpuri, ITO, Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens Delhi, IP Extension and Dwarka.

The situation was similar in NCR where crackers were burst, as usual, raising questions on the efficacy of the administration in enforcing the apex court’s ban.

A “very poor” AQI essentially means that people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure to such air.

As many as 209 calls were received by the Delhi Fire Services on the day of Diwali.