Images from different parts of Delhi showed dense fog covering the roads, significantly reducing visibility and making it difficult to see beyond a few hundred meters.
New Delhi: A thick layer of smog shrouded the national capital after people burned crackers on Diwali night, leading to severe pollution across the city, which is already reeling from deteriorating air quality. Officials said the Delhi Fire Brigade received 100 calls regarding fire-related incidents on Diwali evening. Delhi Fire Service (DFS) chief Atul Garg said these calls were recorded between 6pm and 10.45pm on Sunday.
“The total number of calls for small, medium and large fire incidents reached 100 between 6pm and 10.45pm,” he said, adding that his department was ready to provide assistance. Delhi Police is on alert and assisting firefighters, officials said. The ban on fireworks was flouted in several areas of Delhi as the city celebrated Diwali. Images from different parts of Delhi showed dense fog covering the roads, significantly reducing visibility and making it difficult to see further than a few hundred meters.
It is important to note that the national capital has been suffering from pollution for several weeks. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has peaked in many places at “dangerous” levels and has remained at toxic levels for several days, but after Diwali, the national capital is likely to once again witness rising pollution levels, making people’s lives difficult.
A breathing city The Supreme Court last week said that the ban on fireworks containing barium is binding on all states and is not limited to the Delhi-NCR region, which suffers from severe air pollution. Recently, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi imposed a complete ban on bursting firecrackers. In the face of pollution, the government thought of the idea of ”artificial rain” to combat the city’s oppressive atmosphere, until sudden rains significantly reduced the pollution level.
The latest posts and reports circulating on social media sites show the participation of large numbers of people in different places in lighting fireworks. Images on Sunday night from Lodhi Road, RK Puram, Karol Bagh and Punjabi Bagh showed intense fireworks lighting up the night sky in several parts of the capital. Previous data on pollution showed that since the last week of October, the air quality in the national capital was at its worst.
PM2.5 concentrations in the city were recorded at 20 times the limit set by the World Health Organization, prompting the city government to issue an order to close all primary schools and limit truck access. Despite the ‘Diya Jalao, Patakhi Nahi’ campaign launched by the Delhi government and the Supreme Court’s order against bursting of firecrackers, the increasing pollution is likely to reduce the lights in the city after the festival ends.
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