Air quality in cities is better than 2016 but is still ‘poor’.
Pollution levels spiked across the country as the festival of lights rolled around. The signs were already present as the Delhi government had issued warnings as early as 12 October when it said that the “unabated” burning of crop residue in the neighbouring states and fireworks during Diwali.
Mumbai also saw increased pollution levels as SAFAR data found the AQI to be 204 (‘poor’ category) due to emissions from firecrackers and changing weather patterns.
Chennai too reported high levels of air pollution as it was smothered in a blanket of dense smog on Wednesday.Data released by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) also showed that PM10 was eight times above prescribed levels.
The air quality in Kolkata had worsened even before the arrival of Kali Puja. Data collected from different sources on Tuesday and Wednesday midnight revealed a sharp spike in pollution. This was attributed to the bursting of crackers, which was probably triggered by the fear of impending rain.
In Punjab, air quality was close to the ‘very poor’ mark as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) measured the average AQI at 290 on Wednesday.