Even two days after Diwali, the Air Quality Index (AQI) level in Delhi-NCR continues to remain in a severe category as people gasp for cleaner air especially those already suffering from breathing issues.
Delhi-NCR regions including Ghaziabad, Noida, and the national capital itself all are under severe category with AQIs above 400. Not only the Delhi-NCR regions but Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow is also gasping for cleaner.
Ghaziabad at present is the most polluted city with AQI at 500, followed by Lucknow with AQI at 428, Noida at 409, and New Delhi at 411.
Moreover, regions with AQI in the severe category are also suffering from the haze-like situations.
"There is haze all over the streets of Lucknow. The pollution is so much that it is difficult to breathe. Everyone is troubled by this pollution caused by Diwali crackers," said Braj Bihari Dubey, a local resident.
Scientists at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), a central government institute, examined the air in Lucknow after Diwali.
In Gomtinagar, the PM 2.5 level was recorded at 725.2, Indira Nagar at 725.2, Aminabad at 810.9 and Charbagh at 810.9.
While according to the standards, the level of PM 2.5 should not exceed 60 micrograms / cubic meter.
According to the IITR report, the level of PM 10 has also increased in the city.
In Gomtinagar area, it was 1084.2, Aminabad 959, Alambagh 915.3 and Charbagh 1003.7 micrograms/cubic meter, whereas according to the standards, it should not exceed 100 micrograms/cubic meter.
Doctors say that the number of patients has increased due to pollution caused by Diwali.
Due to the increasing pollution in the city, people are reporting health issues including coughing, burning, said Deepak Singh, a local resident.
It is clear from the report of the scientists of IITR that the effect of smoky and noisy Diwali will remain on the people of Lucknow for a long time.
However, earlier in the day, Delhi’s air quality index was recorded in ‘very poor’ category, a marginal improvement from the last three days when it was recorded in the ‘severe’ category.
The city’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 385 at 9.05 am, while that of Noida, Gurgaon and Greater Noida was recorded at 406, 363, 296, respectively.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
Delhi's air quality remained in the 'severe' category on Sunday because of the large influx of stubble-related pollutants, apparently, from a much higher effective fire count, authorities said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the city's air quality index stood at 416 (severe) at 8 pm that day.
The national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 13.6 degrees Celsius on Monday, normal for this time of the year. The relative humidity at 8.
30 am was recorded at 85 per cent.
The weatherman has forecast partly cloudy sky for the day with the maximum temperature likely to settle at around 29 degrees Celsius.