After Deepavali, toxic air in Delhi, many towns of north India

The overall air pollution of Delhi shot up to about eight times the safe limit and the air quality which was already in the ‘severe’ category on Saturday further worsened on Sunday morning

As Delhiites on Deepavali night violated a ban on bursting of firecrackers, the overall air pollution of the city shot up to about eight times the safe limit and the air quality which was already in the ‘severe’ category on Saturday further worsened on Sunday morning, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

Several other towns of north India also were in the ‘severe’ category of air pollution and many were even worse than Delhi, the data showed. The air quality of Noida, and Gurugram were also in the ‘severe’ category on Sunday morning.

Severe air pollution levels affect ‘healthy people’ and ‘seriously impacts’ those with existing diseases, as per the CPCB.

The level of PM2.5, a deadly pollutant, in Delhi and the National Capital Region was 469.3 ug/m3 at 6 a.m. on Sunday — about eight times the safe limit (60ug/m3) as per Indian standards.

At 9 a.m. on Sunday, the Air Quality Index of Delhi was 465 and the values for Gurugram and Noida were 424 and 468 respectively, as per the CPCB.

An AQI between 0 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’.

On November 9, the National Green Tribunal had ordered a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers between November 10 and 30 in all cities and towns across the country where the average ambient air quality in November fell under the ‘poor’ and above category.

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