The much debated ban on firecrackers during Diwali in Delhi seems to have positively affected the air quality in the city. According to data released from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), pollution levels in the capital on Thursday were lower than what they were last year during Diwali time. However, the Air Quality Index (AIQ), which was recorded at 319, was still ‘very poor’.
On October 9, this year, the Supreme Court had banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) till October 31 to observe the effects of the ban on air pollution. The CPCB’s data, based on Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 and Particulate Matter (PM) 10, which recorded at 4 pm, showed that Delhi’s air quality at 319 was ‘very poor’. Such high levels of pollutions could cause respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure.
On Tuesday, the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had imposed a ban on diesel generator sets and temporarily shut down the Badarpur thermal power plant, to curb pollution levels in the NCR as the air quality entered the ‘red zone’.Nevertheless, people took to Twitter to show how the ban was hardly effective as firecrackers were still being burst.
— Diksha Verma (@DikshaaVerma) October 19, 2017
Senior journalist Barkha Dutt had tweeted “Ok Delhi I can't breathe. It's the reason why I argued earlier that bans never work. It HAS to be a people led movement. #breathe”
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi177) October 19, 2017
Journalist Sagarika Bose tweeted “Disappointed to report crackers are back with a vengeance. There goes my peaceful neighbourhood. Clearly we prefer to choke than. #breathe”
Ok Delhi I can't breathe. It's the reason why I argued earlier that bans never work. It HAS to be a people led movement. #crackerban
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 19, 2017
Ousted AAP leader, Kapil Mishra mocked the ban by tweeting that he is bursting left-over crackers from last year that will also be left-over next year.
Disappointed to report crackers are back with a vengeance. There goes my peaceful neighbourhood. Clearly we prefer to choke than #breathe
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) October 19, 2017
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishraAAP) October 19, 2017
Last year, Delhi had faced the worst smog in 17 years that forced the Delhi government to shut down school and construction sites. The AIQ last year was 431. According to the Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database release by WHO, Delhi ranks 11th among 3000 cities in terms of particulate matter level.