A day after Diwali, people of Delhi woke up to a blanket of haze and smog, with the Diwali night pushing the city’s air quality to alarmingly high toxic level.
People, who were commuting late Diwali night or early next morning posted photographs and videos of smog-covered roads on social media, with many complaining about “zero visibility” and smell of charred firecrackers in the air, which was making it difficult to breathe.
— Ashutosh Sapru (@SapruAshutosh) October 31, 2016
— Tarun Kumar (@TK_Scribbler) October 31, 2016
— Upmanyu (@upmanyutrivedi) October 31, 2016
— Shatarupa Dhar (@SassyShaina_1) October 31, 2016
According to reports, the level of Delhi’s October 31 smog was 17 times more critical on pollution level, with the pollution having increased manifold overnight.
Pollution levels in Delhi always peaks during Diwali season, but this time hit worse figures of three years due to a combination of adverse meteorological factors such as slow wind speed and moisture in the air.
In China, a ‘red alert’ is sounded if the air quality plunges to this level and if it continues for three consecutive days, they shut down down schools and offices, and close down industries and power plants to reduce pollution.
Further, they start road rationing of vehicles (like Delhi’s Odd-Even formula) so as to reduce pollution as much as they can in the coming days.
According to Delhi’s Pollution Control Committee, the real-time ambient air quality data showed that on October 30, the PM10 readings in RK Puram went up by over 42 times the national ambiance air quality standard.
The PM10 level at RK Puram was recorded at 4,273 µg/m³ at At 10.55pm, with PM2.5 level also touching an alarming high of 748µg/m³ at 2.30am.
Particulate matters or PM are tiny particles in the air that causes visibility problems and health hazards.
Excess levels of PM can cause serious harm to the person’s respiratory system as these ultra fine particulates can embed themselves deep into the lungs of a person and even enter the bloodstream.
The permissible level of PM 2.5 is 60µg/m³ while PM10 is 100 µg/m³.