New DelhiThe Indian capital, New Delhi, woke up Friday morning under a thick layer of smog. Serious air pollution came as a result of the celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali. During the five-day festival of lights, fireworks were banned in various parts of India, but this year the ban was again ignored by many. As a result, a number of regions in the country have recorded dangerously high levels of air pollution.
Diwali is also known as the “Festival of Lights”. One of the most popular celebrations in India, the five-day festival of lights celebrates the ‘victory of good over evil’ or ‘light over darkness’. People usually light oil lamps for the occasion. Fireworks are often set off as well.
The highest pollution value
New Delhi already has very poor air quality under normal conditions, but the morning after the end of Diwali, the air quality index rose from 463 to 500, the highest value measured in the country this year. Air pollution can have serious consequences for healthy people as well as people who already have respiratory illnesses. “It’s horrific for allergy and asthma sufferers,” said Ambrish Mithal, a physician at the city’s Max Healthcare.
The indicator also indicates the presence of an excessive amount of toxic substances in the air. “The ban on fireworks in Delhi has not worked, resulting in dangerous pollution levels on top of the pollution that already exists,” said Sunil Dahya, an analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).
Delhi’s environment minister, Gopal Rai, said authorities are planning to release water into the air with 20 anti-smog guns to mitigate the smog. However, many believe that stricter measures are needed to ensure fresh air, such as a temporary ban on refurbishment activities and the closure of heavily polluting factories.
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