Delhi bans entry of trucks to combat post-Diwali smog

Delhi bans entry of trucks to combat post-Diwali smog”

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) on Thursday said that the air quality in the national capital and neighbouring cities were still very bad.

A municipal worker with her daughter leaves after sweeping the India Gate area as a thick lawyer of pollution haze hangs a day after Diwali festival, in New Delhi, India, on November 8, 2018.

The court had asked the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold.

Early morning ambient air quality readings in Delhi - the world's most polluted major city, according to the World Health Organisation - touched 526, according to the USA embassy in the city which independently monitors pollution levels. The AQI rose from 281 at 7 pm to 291 an hour later and by 10 pm, it was 296, said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

"The Supreme Court order on fireworks was not followed and health warnings from the government were limited to few newspapers and some websites", said Greenpeace campaigner Sunil Dahiya.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that only environmentally friendly crackers - that emit less smoke and soot - can be sold in Delhi, in a bid to cut the smog that has scarred the city's global reputation.

Partly as a result of smoke from the firecrackers, the overall AQI in Delhi jumped to 642 which falls in the "severe-plus emergency" category, according to the data by SAFAR.

The Aam Aadmi Party Thursday demanded initiation of contempt action against BJP leaders - MLA O P Sharma and party spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor - for their remarks on the Supreme Court order allowing a two-hour window on use of green crackers.

Vehicles on Delhi roads generate roughly 20 percent of these tiny particles in the air, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream and which are linked to chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease.

Two federal government pollution indices showed air at "very poor" and "severe" levels, indicating that prolonged exposure could lead to respiratory illnesses. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly.

However, violations were reported from across Delhi, including areas like Anand Vihar, ITO, Jahangirpuri Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens Delhi, IP Extension and Dwarka.

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