The aftermath of Diwali celebrations has left a smoky haze lingering over the nation, with Bihar’s Begusarai taking the lead in the list of most polluted cities, boasting an alarming Air Quality Index (AQI) of 401. While the festival of lights painted the sky with colors, it seems the pollution levels have added a gloomy tint to the air in entertainment hubs.
Delhi’s Diwali Sparkle Dimmed By Rising Pollution
The national capital, Delhi, recorded a jump in pollution levels, and a thick smog returned on Monday morning, post-Diwali night celebrations. Despite a ban on firecrackers, residents flouted the rules, leading to a spike in pollution levels amid low temperatures. Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 275 (poor category) at 7 am, gradually escalating to 322 by noon. Pollution levels teetered on the brink of the “severe” category (AQI between 400 and 450) in specific areas, including Ayanagar (382), Central Road Research Institute (393), and Pusa (391).
Entertainment Capitals Under Pollution
However, the pollution battleground isn’t limited to Delhi alone. Bihar’s Begusarai and Bhubaneswar in Odisha took the dubious honor of recording the worst AQI in the country at 401 and 382, respectively. A closer look at the top 10 cities with the worst air quality reveals that four were in Odisha, three were in Bihar, and one was each in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana.
- Begusarai, Bihar (401)
- Bhubaneswar, Odisha (382)
- Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh (375)
- Siwan, Bihar (372)
- Balasore, Odisha (366)
- Bathinda, Punjab (359)
- Kaithal, Haryana (357)
- Cuttack, Odisha (356)
- Talcher, Odisha (353)
- Bhagalpur, Bihar (350)
Delhi’s Pollution Continues To Rise
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s 24-hour average AQI was 323. Thus, it is higher than Sunday’s AQI of 218 recorded at 4 pm. An AQI between 300 and 400 is classified as “very poor,” posing a risk of respiratory illness on prolonged exposure. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data reveals shocking PM2.5 pollution levels at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, soaring to 1,423 micrograms per cubic meter by 2 am, gradually descending to 101 micrograms per cubic meter by noon due to a rise in temperatures. Other monitoring stations also reported alarming figures, emphasizing the severity of the pollution aftermath.
Glance At Diwali Pollution Trends
Delhi’s AQI on Diwali has seen a worrisome trend over the years. In 2022, it recorded an AQI of 303, marking a slight improvement from the previous year’s 462. In eight years, the city’s residents witnessed a better air quality index on Diwali day, with a 24-hour average AQI settling at 218. As the festival season subsides, the entertainment capitals grapple with the repercussions of festive celebrations. The battle against pollution continues. Thus urging citizens to reflect on the environmental impact of their celebrations. Meanwhile, the skies might be ablaze with fireworks during festivals. Also, the lingering haze serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for eco-friendly festivities and sustainable practices.