India’s national capital records ‘very poor’ air quality ahead of festival season

  • The saga of air pollution during winter led to India’s National Capital Region (NCR) to fall into the ‘very poor’ category on the Air Quality Index (AQI).
  • The Air Quality index was recorded 331 in 32 monitoring station on 25 October 2018
  • The situation is expected to worsen after the Diwali takes place in November, according to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Winter is coming and toxic smog has already taken over New Delhi’s skies. Following last year’s trend, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi-NCR regions remains ‘very poor’ as of October 2018, according to a report by The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).The Air Quality was recorded at 331 in 32 monitoring stations on 25 October 2018. And, the issue does not end here. New Delhi can expect an increase in air pollutants after November.

Unchecked factors like inefficient mechanisms to control dust, the burning of paddy crops in neighboring regions like Haryana, and lenient rules for vehicles are set to make a bad problem even worse.

In an attempt to contain the level of worsening air quality, India’s Supreme Court restricted the bursting of fireworks during Diwali, Christmas and New Years in its latest verdict. That being said, people still have the option to burst ‘ green fireworks’ but only between the hours of 8pm to 10pm.

Winter in India always coincides with one of the most popular festivals in India, Diwali that usually stipulates the bursting of fireworks for two consecutive nights. But the troublesome air might not allow people to celebrate a ‘Happy’ Diwali.



Here’s a report card of Delhi’s rising smog problem over the past four years.

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In 2015, 2.5 million premature deaths in India because of toxic air

In 2015, 2.5 million premature deaths in India because of toxic air

Around a month after Diwali, the air quality index was recorded between 430-435 in 2015, which is considered to be ‘severe’. That year, the Lancet Commission on pollution and health noted that of 9 million pre-mature death worldwide, 2.5 million were in India alone.

In 2016, Delhi faced the worst smog in 17 years

In 2016, Delhi faced the worst smog in 17 years

The smog in India’s national capital was declared as the worst in 17 years by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) in November 2016. The volume of particulate matter managed to reach five times above its prescribed limit. Not only for PM 2.5 but for PM 10 as well.

Despite an increase in patients, the air quality was better in 2017 than the previous years

Despite an increase in patients, the air quality was better in 2017 than the previous years

Even with more people checking into hospitals with ailments caused by pollution, the air quality in 2017 was lower than that of the past three years. In fact, air quality in 2018 is already worse than it was last year as per CBPC

In 2017, Delhi saw a 20% surge in patients due to illnesses caused by bad air quality

In 2017, Delhi saw a 20% surge in patients due to illnesses caused by bad air quality

Delhi ‘gas chamber’ had a severe impact on the city’s 19 million residents, witnessing a 20% increase in the amount of patients checking in with respiratory distress as a result of the city’s deteriorating air quality.

Come 2018, air pollution shows no signs of letting up

Come 2018, air pollution shows no signs of letting up

The New Delhi has been struggling with pollution problem from over a decade now. The air quality index in the National Capital Region hit a four-month low at 326, or ‘very poor’ category. While the city is known to be world’s sixth fastest-growing metro city but another picture of the story says it stood at sixth position among the fourteen most polluted cities in the world

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