Despite Firecracker Sale Ban, Air Quality In Delhi May Enter ‘Emergency’ Zone

| October 19 , 2017 , 10:09 IST

The Supreme Court had imposed a temporary ban on the sale of firecracker in the Delhi-NCR region earlier this month, keeping in mind the increasing pollution in the capital region. Despite the ban, the air quality in Delhi is likely to turn ‘severe’ and may even enter ‘emergency’ zone on Diwali night, say scientists.

According to scientists working with the government and the Centre for Science and Environment, the burning of firecrackers in parts of Delhi-NCR may further increase the air pollution. While the sale of firecrackers has been banned by the Supreme Court till November 1, those already in possession of firecrackers are free to burn them at any time.

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"The air is already in the 'very poor' category in which activities such as firecracker bursting can spike pollution levels fourfold. The city is already experiencing calm wind conditions. There is increased moisture in the air, which will trap more pollutants. Besides, the low wind speed will not allow pollutants to get dispersed in the air," said senior scientist and project manager of Clean Air Campaign, CSE, Vivek Chattopadhyaya.

As the air quality in Delhi dipped to the ‘very poor’ level, authorities on Tuesday shut down the Badarpur Power Plant imposed a ban on the use of diesel generators in the area, excluding those used for hospitals and metro services. The ban, put in place as a part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) will be in place until March 15.

Officials of central government agency SAFAR which monitors air pollution, have cited burning of paddy stubble in Haryana and Punjab, recent fire breakouts in Ghazipur landfills and meteorological conditions as some of the major reasons causing the alarming level of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.