The din of crackers has died down, and it has left the denizens of the city gasping for breath. The air is polluted almost three times the normal limit. Schools in the national capital have been shut, and doctors in the metros have warned people not to go for morning walks till the ambient air quality improves.
Pollution Control Board centre in the main metros upload hourly data on particulate matter in the air, and a trend which is seen is the count jumps up many times in the period from 10 PM to Midnight. This is the time when most working men and women are back, and they start bursting fire crackers leading to a jump in this value.
Even during the Dusshera when idols are immersed, a lot of crackers are exploded which leads to an increase in the particulate matter in the air. The huge procession also leads to increase in dust which causes severe respiratory ailments in people. The Pollution Control Board had very little legal powers to prosecute individuals who are indulging in activities which increase pollution.
The PM count at 10 Pm in Calcutta 267 micrograms per cubic meter while the permissible levels were 100gm3.Since movements of heavy vehicles was restricted; the pollution could have been only caused by firecrackers.
The US consulate in Calcutta found that the pm at 2.5 AM was 106 despite continuous rains. The pollution will take a very long time to remove because the smoke and the smog formed as a result of firecrackers are remain hanging in the city.
The PM levels in New Delhi was measured at 10 PM and 2.50 AM and was found at 785 micrograms per cubic meter and 491 micrograms per cubic meter, respectively. As already mentioned the safe levels of PM10 are 100 micrograms per cubic meter, and PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter. This is almost eight times the average.