Air quality in Delhi has gone from bad to worse with ongoing crop burning practices during the harvest season in the neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana. The quality of air in the national capital on Monday was rated “poor” with an Air Quality Index reading of 277, as per the report by the Indian Express. A reading below 50 is considered good while that below 100 is considered satisfactory. As per the report, the patterns of wind during winter season show that particulate matter is carried to Delhi from neighbouring states and countries. Which in turn, as per the reports by IIT Kanpur and the National Physical Laboratory, becomes a kind of a sink.
Satellite images released by the space agency NASA, showed till October 1, farm fires were concentrated around Amritsar. However, on October 9, several parts of Punjab and Haryana had fire markers. Several fire markers were also be seen in Pakistan, reported the Indian Express. Diwali this year is coming 11 days earlier than the previous year. As low temperatures aid the accumulation of pollutants, Delhi is in little relief since temperatures have not yet dipped as much as they had last year.
Appreciating the move to prohibit the sale of firecrackers by the Supreme Court in the wake of the festival of lights Diwali, NGOs working on air pollution have welcomed the ruling. Greenpeace India, in an official statement, stated, “We appreciate the decision on the prohibition of firecracker sale. This may give some relief to the episodic air pollution levels in October. However, since pollution levels in north India are multiple times higher than the national standards during winter, we need to look at a stricter, comprehensive and time-bound action plan to address all sources of air pollution across the country.”