Air quality in the national capital has dropped massively in the first 12 hours after the Diwali celebrations. This has again increased the pollution affecting the health of the people. Apart from Delhi, 8 out of 11 states are also affected by the pollution compared to last year.
The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) tracker has recorded PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) data for 11 capital cities–Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna–for the day before Diwali, the day of Diwali and the day after Diwali (till 12 pm) for the years 2022 and 2023.
According to the NCAP, the highest spike was seen in the national capital Delhi. It was at 999.5 ug/m3 at Pusa on November 13 at 1:30 am.
The NCAP Tracker is a joint project by Climate Trends and Respirer Living Sciences to create an online hub for the latest updates on India’s clean air policy, the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The data was sourced from the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The unseasonal rain before Diwali might have improved the quality of air, however, bursting of firecrackers during the festive season has again spiked the air pollution.
Firecrackers were burst in the national capital and other cities on Diwali despite alarming pollution levels and the Supreme Court’s ban on bursting crackers resulting in the deterioration of air quality to ‘Poor’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). As a result, air pollution started to spike on the night of November 12 and touched hazardous levels in quite a few places.
The pollution level in the national capital, on and before Diwali was lesser than the previous years. As per the NCAP data, daily average PM 2.5 levels were 93.1 ug/m3 and 143. 8 ug/m3 a day before and on Diwali, respectively, as compared to 120.9 ug/m3 and 180. 9 ug/m3 last year.
But, after Diwali the quality of air dropped down and there was a sudden spike in the pollution level, as daily average PM 2.5 levels (12pm) were recorded at 395.9 ug/m3 as compared to 166 ug/m3 in 2022.
Apart from Delhi, places like Gandhinagar, Kolkata and Patna had also recorded higher air pollution levels in 2023 compared to 2022.