Delhi: Over 600 kg illegal crackers seized, 31 arrested on Diwali

12 November, 2018, 12:44 | Author: Courtney Reynolds
  • Guwahati People busy buying green crackers for Diwali in Guwahati on Nov 7 2018

The Supreme Court's restrictions on bursting firecrackers did not seem to have much of an effect on Mumbaikars. The period following Diwali past year saw hospitals inundatedwith people suffering the effects of air pollution.

In its earlier report SAFAR warned that compared to a year ago, even if half the amount of firecrackers were burst this Diwali, the region's air quality was likely to go to up to "emergency" levels for two days with a spike in PM2.5 levels. "This will persist for November 10 and 11, so conditions will remain around severe for the next two days", said Mahesh Palawt, Director of Skymet.

Despite the state pollution control board's advisory limiting the time for bursting of crackers to between 8pm and 10pm and subsequent orders of the district authorities to enforce the advisory, crackers went off till midnight.

The national capital rendered Supreme Court order defunct as it burst toxic firecrackers with delinquent incorrigibility, as Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the year the morning after Diwali. To make matters worse, bonfires were made out of fire cracker boxes, sending black smoke rising.

Firecrackers are traditionally let off during the Diwali week but worsening air quality at the onset of winter in Delhi and most of northern India has forced authorities to call for desperate measures, including banning use of private cars.

The air quality had started deteriorating from 7 pm, when the AQI was 281, rising to 291 at 8 pm.

The top court had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the area would be held responsible. "Since the last few years, the noise level has been coming down".

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"While permissible limits for single crackers is 125 dB, a series of crackers (ladi) have limits between 90 dB and 110 dB, depending on the number of crackers put together".

The pollution-regulating authorities, however, said the air quality after this Diwali remained better than what it was a year ago. Any reading over 100 is considered hazardous and a danger even to healthy people.

In 2017, the AQI of Delhi two days after Diwali was 389 or "very poor".

Admitting "sporadic" breaches of the apex court order on bursting crackers beyond the time frame fixed by it, senior Delhi police officials said, "We are monitoring the situation".

A thick haze settled over Delhi on November 8 as firecracker emissions mixed with the air.

It equates to 1,50,000 kg of mass of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres).



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