“The rise in pollution levels after Diwali has been going up three-to-four times the normal levels. But it’s alarming to see the rise even before Diwali.”, as informed by Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist working with the Delhi-based Social Action for Forest and Environment
It all begins The Festival of Dussehra, then the wedding season which witnesses the union of souls through crackers then follows this is Diwali, the festival of light. A collaboration of all this and much more sees extensive use of firecrackers has bestowed in increasing the level of toxicity in the recent years.
As warned by the experts the level of pollution can surpass foregoing levels. Another major reason to this is Crop burning, carbon emission from outdated trucks and vehicles, increased number of vehicles in the capital and also the pervasive constructions activities. the pollution has been measured to be elevated every year, the scary part is the air in Delhi is so virulent that even on an ordinary day it is at least three times the prescribed normal levels with smog.
Not just this but the increased level of air pollution pre-Diwali could be an effect of the crop fires which show their impact on Delhi. a scientist at the ‘Air Lab’ of Delhi government’s Delhi Pollution Control Committee, MP George, said Diwali makes a fair bit of contribution to air pollution in the city.
Over the past few weeks, the country’s northern belt — Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Chandigarh — have witnessed hazy skies owing to the acres of crops set ablaze.
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To understand better: the air quality level is measured by the system of air Quality and weather forecasting and Research (SAFAR) of the ministry of earth sciences, which promulgate the PM 2.5 LEVEL – Particulate Matter with a diameter Smaller than 2 1/2 Microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter).depending upon the suspension of the Nano particles: a range of safety is decided from 0-100, and anything above 100 is classified as “poor” air quality level, which is toxic ad unhealthy.
The prescribed standard of the PM2.5 (particulate matter) is that of 60 Units, but as measured by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee of the Government of Delhi, the record suggested four times the level of prescribed pollutants in the air which is up to- 222.87. the levels of the same is expected to reach as high as 429 units of PM2.5 after the festival. According to SAFAR: “This Diwali is going to be colder as compared to last year. There is enough moisture in the air and the atmospheric holding capacity of pollutants is quite high.”
A question is raised at the Indian authorities measure of pollution levels because the guidelines values for PM2.5 levels as set by WHO is 10 units.
Jai Dhar Gupta, who has been a victim of the city’s pollution and went through years of nebulization and steroids, has turned into a clean energy crusader and manufactures air purifying masks through his company, Vogmask.
“The Indo-Gangetic plain is like a dust bowl. With the crop burning that has been happening, the PM 2.5 levels have reached critical stage. It requires the government to issue advisory in this emergency situation and aggressively fight the pollution,” Gupta told IANS.
He said that Paris earlier in 2015 adapted emergency measures when their PM 2.5 levels reached around 100, and said the situation is graver in Delhi.
With sweets, food, lights, prayers and crackers, This could be HAPPY Diwali but certainly not a HEALTHY one for the Delhites!