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Cracks in ban, but not total mess

New Delhi, October 21
Delhi, that saw relentless bursting of crackers till late in the night despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court, woke up to a blanket of smog today.
Online indicators of pollution-monitoring stations in the capital glowed red, indicating a ‘very poor’ air quality as the volume of ultra fine particulates PM 2.5 and PM 10, which enter the respiratory system, sharply rose from around 7 pm yesterday.
The situation was similar, if not worse, in Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad, where crackers were burst as usual, raising a question mark on the efficacy of the administration in enforcing the ban. Importantly, the cracker ban saw a 16 per cent decline in fire accidents in New Delhi.
In an encouraging sign, pollution levels across Punjab this Diwali declined as compared to last year. The pollution level increased by just 24 per cent this Diwali, compared to 70 per cent last year when the state’s air quality index (AQI) a day ahead of Diwali was recorded at 130. This year, the AQI increased to 328 from 265, an increase of 24 per cent.
The Diwali revelry left roads in major cities in a mess. “This is seven days’ worth of garbage,” complained Mumbai’s safai workers.

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