The “Green Diwali” campaigns in the region again went for a toss this year as people continued to burst firecrackers past the permissible time limit, flouting the Supreme Court’s order, thus resulting in poor air quality in major cities on Thursday.
Faridabad in Haryana recorded ‘severe’ air quality index of 455 at 4 pm on Thursday (average of past 24 hours), as per data of Central Pollution Control Board.
At 7 pm, the AQI at Faridabad was reportedly 477.
As per the data of CPCB, the air quality index (AQI) stayed in the 301-400 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) limit, which is categorised as ‘very poor’ in major cities of Haryana on Thursday.
Gurugram and Rohtak recorded AQI of 389 (very poor category) and 336 (very poor) respectively. The AQI increased further by the evening in major cities of Haryana due to bursting of firecrackers, as per daily AQI bulletin released at 4 pm.
A ‘very poor’ AQI essentially means that people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure to such air. If the air quality dips further, the AQI turns ‘severe’, which may trouble even those with sound health conditions and seriously affect those with ailments.
A day after Diwali, a thick haze had enveloped Delhi-NCR region as the air quality plunged to severe category in various parts, exposing people to major health risks on Thursday.
There are 13 districts of Haryana in the national capital region namely Gurugram, Rewari, Faridabad, Palwal, Mewat, Rohtak, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Mahendergarh, Bhiwani, Karnal and Jind.
The Supreme Court had last month ordered that less polluting firecrackers will be allowed in Delhi-NCR only between 8pm to 10pm on the occasion of Diwali. But the order was flouted blatantly all over NCR on Diwali night.
Meanwhile, Panchkula recorded AQI of 157 which is in moderate category.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana also witnessed a noisier and polluted Diwali as compared to the previous year.
“PM10 as well as PM 2.5 levels were increased at all the three locations of Sectors 22, City Centre Sector 17 (commercial) and 12 as compared to last year’s Diwali,” according to the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee.
The AQI of Sectors 22, 17 and 12 was 311, 177 and 297 respectively post Diwali. The AQI was 240, 137 and 247 in Sectors 22, 17 and 12 respectively during the previous year’s Diwali.
The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee in its official statement stated that Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) levels at all the locations are within the permissible limits. Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) levels at all the locations are also within permissible limits.
However, the noise levels in these three locations were higher in comparison to the previous year.
Beating of drums at places was also observed adding to the noise in these localities, stated the CPCC statement.