Pollution levels cross emergency levels on Diwali night

Pollution levels in Delhi shot up on and are expected to enter the “severe” category on Diwali night due to firecrackers, weather conditions and a spike in stubble burning, according to government agencies.

A thin layer of toxic haze hung over Delhi in the morning and the overall air quality index stood at 313 at 9 am. It continued its upward trend and was recorded at 341 at 2.30 pm.

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On Saturday, Delhi’s overall air quality (302) was in the lower end of the “very poor” category.

The levels of PM10 tiny particulate matter of diameter 10 or less than 10 microns that can enter deep into the lungs reached as high as 515 micrograms per cubic metre in Anand Vihar, according to the Delhi government’s air quality monitors.

In Wazirpur and Bawana, PM 2.5 levels crossed the 400 mark.

Twenty-nine of the 37 air quality monitoring stations in the capital recorded their AQI in “very poor” category or beyond.

The AQI in the satellite towns of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida was 318, 397, 315 and 357, respectively.

After last year’s Diwali, Delhi’s AQI had crossed the 600-mark, which is 12 times the safe limit. In 2017, the AQI post-Diwali was 367.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor”, and 401-500 “severe”. Above 500 is “severe-plus emergency” category.

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