Delhi was in the limelight this Diwali as Supreme Court had banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of the festival. This Diwali, Bhiwadi a city in Delhi NCR has been reported to be the most polluted city in India on the festival of lights. Bhiwadi is in Alwar, Rajasthan and falls under the National Capital Region. The Central Pollution Control Board brought out a list of cities and their respective quality of air on the day of Diwali. According to the report, Bhiwadi secured the top spot, which was followed by Kolkata on the second position and Agra in the third. Interestingly, Agra in Uttar Pradesh was the most polluted city in India on Diwali 2016, according to the CPCB.
The CPCB Air Quality Index report was issued on October 19. The report shows that Bhiwadi’s level of pollution on the day was 425 micrograms/cubic metre. Meanwhile, Kolkata’s level was 358 micrograms/cubic metre and Agra’s level was 332 micrograms/cubic metre. Meanwhile, Delhi was not too far behind, as it recorded 319 micrograms/cubic metre. The Air Quality was divided into several categories. Other cities which fell under ‘Severe’ or ‘Very Poor’ segment included: Chennai, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Ludhiana, and more. The ‘Severe’ category was said to denote that the air ‘affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases’ and the ‘Very Poor’ quality denotes that the air could cause ‘respiratory illness on prolonged exposure’.
When it comes to Bhiwadi, the huge number of industries and the smoke emitting from have been considered to be the cause of an increase in air pollution in the city. This is evident from the fact that concentration of PM 2.5 (particulate matters that are 2.5 or less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter) was the biggest contributor to the pollution.
A few days before Diwali even the SC had expressed concerns regarding the alarming levels of pollution in Delhi and had imposed a ban on the sale of crackers. Despite the move, Bhiwadi became the city with the highest pollution on the festival day.
Earlier too the pollution in Bhiwadi has been a cause of concern. The National Green Tribunal had reportedly shut down factories that were causing pollution. However, the pollution levels keep on soaring.
Air pollution in the Delhi NCR, in general, have been a cause of concern, especially since last year. In 2016, schools were shut down for a few days and the BGT had to declare an environmental emergency in areas like Delhi, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, and Haryana.