If there were such fireworks in November Diwali, I would have suffocated.
It was the cleanest Diwali in 8 years with less fireworks in the capital (compared to previous years), the early arrival of Diwali and the weather. Despite this, PM 2.5 levels were recorded above 800 mgcm during fireworks. The winds did not allow this pollution to persist for long. The level of pollution started decreasing from morning itself. The air quality index was 326 at 8 am, dropping to just 303. People started fireworks from 8 o’clock in the night of Diwali. Due to this, the capital was shrouded in smoke for a long time. According to experts, there was a slight reduction in fireworks this time, but the intensity of firecrackers was high from 8 to 10 pm. If there were such fireworks on the occasion of Diwali in the month of November, it would have been enough to suffocate the capital.
The weather and the winds cooperated, otherwise…
According to NCAP Tracker, CPCB’s monitoring station, PM 2.5 levels have decreased at 33 places compared to 2021, but remained above the norms. AQI was 301 at 8pm on October 24. It increased to 326 on the day after Diwali. According to the NCAP tracker, Diwali was on 4 November 2021. AQI was recorded at 320 that day. It was 317 on the morning of November 5. According to SAFAR, PM 10 level was 257 mgcm and PM 2.5 level was 150 mgcm around 10 pm on Monday night. At 1:30 pm it increased to 295 and 189 mgcm. SAFAR director Dr Gufran Baig said that around 10 am on Tuesday, the AQI was running from 330 to 360. It is the cleanest Diwali since 2015. There are four main reasons for this. The main reason for this is that the wind is not coming from the direction of stubble burning. Therefore, straw pollution remained only 5 to 8 percent. The temperature at this time is higher than last year. Wind speed was also around 9 km per hour. Due to this, the pollution started to decrease after 2 pm. Aarti Khosla, director of Climate Trend, said that pollution has not increased so much in the capital after Diwali this time. However, the ban on firecrackers turned out to be completely hollow. Despite this, the reduction in pollution was attributed to late monsoon and delayed harvest due to intermittent rains.
Fireworks, smoke and noise…
Fireworks were set off in many areas on Diwali night from 8 to 11 pm. A plume of smoke enveloped the capital overnight. The ban on crackers had no effect. In some places, the situation was such that the pollution level doubled from 7 pm to 11 pm. NBT reviewed the rising pollution levels during Diwali night by reviewing real-time data received from DPCC (Delhi Pollution Control Committee) monitoring stations. According to this, the air was most polluted in Okhla Phase-2 and Jahangirpuri of the capital. Along with this, the level of pollution was the lowest in Najafgarh. The level of pollution has increased rapidly due to the effect of firecrackers in many areas. PM 2.5 level was 122 mgcm in Nehru Nagar at 7 pm. It increased to 943 mgcm at 12 noon. The PM 2.5 concentration at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was 91 at 7 pm, which increased to 738 mgcm after 12 pm. The PM 2.5 level at Karni Singh Shooting Range was just 108 at 7 pm, which increased to 886 mgcm at 11 am. These were the areas where the pollution level increased 7 to 9 times in just 4 hours.
Okhla Phase-II and Jahangirpuri remained the most polluted areas
Okhla Phase-II was the most polluted area of the capital. The level of PM 2.5 here has crossed 1000 mgcm. It was the only station in the capital where PM 2.5 reached this level. The PM 2.5 level here reached 1042 mgcm at 12 pm. This is 17 times more than normal. PM 10 level in Jahangirpuri reached 1296 mgcm and PM 2.5 level reached 964 mgcm before 11:35 am. The level of PM 2.5 here was 16 times higher than normal. Surprisingly, the PM 10 level at 12 noon on Tuesday was 4985 mgcm. Also, in Vivek Vihar, the PM 10 level reached 1306 and the PM 2.5 level reached 961 mgcm before 12 midnight.
These are the cleanest areas
Apart from firecrackers, pollution in some areas of the capital remained very low. Najafgarh was the cleanest area on Diwali night. The PM 2.5 level here was just 163 mgcm at 2 pm. Along with this, the highest pollution in Alipur remained at 294 MGCM. According to Sunil Dahiya, senior analyst at CREA (Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air), PM 2.5 levels reached 950 mgcm between 10 pm and 1 pm at several stations on Diwali night, according to CPCB data. . This time, despite the onset of Diwali, better weather and fewer firecrackers, the pollution remained so high. It has been almost the same as Diwali 2019. Diwali in 2019 was on 27 October.
Noise pollution was recorded at its highest level between 9 and 10 pm in residential areas amid the noise of firecrackers. Apart from residential, noise pollution has also increased significantly in silence zones, commercial and industrial areas. According to information, the level of noise pollution in Jahangirpuri was recorded at 81.8 decibels (dB) at 9 pm. According to the standards it should stay up to 55 dB. Ashok Vihar was second in this case. The noise pollution here at 10 pm was 79.1 dB. Along with this, the least noise remained on Lodhi Road. Here it was 66.4 dB at the peak level at 8 pm.
Not even in the silence zone
Hospitals, schools etc. are considered silence zones. In these places too, Diwali night pollution was above the standards. Noise pollution in Rohini reached its peak at 75.3 dB at 10 pm. While in Aurobindo Marg and Poot Khurd this peak remained till 8 pm and 6 am. At that time, the pollution level at both the places was 74.3 dB. Noise pollution in Najafgarh was lowest in silence zone. Here, the pollution peaked at 59.5 decibels at 9 am. As per the prescribed norms, it should not exceed 55 dB in the silence zone.
Noise pollution in Patparganj reached its peak at 81.5 dB at 3 pm. After that it was less than that. The peak noise pollution in Wazirpur was 79.6 dB at 9 pm. Talking about commercial places, Karol Bagh had a peak pollution of 88.2 dB at 9 pm. Also, the peak noise pollution in Lajpat Nagar was 84.8 dB at 10 am. It should not exceed 65 dB as per prescribed standards.