Delhi bans entry of trucks to combat post-Diwali smog

Delhi air pollution

Delhi gasps for breath after Diwali firework frenzy

"Despite widespread publicity of the Supreme Court's order by the district administration, some people were found violating the orders and a first information report has been registered against them under the Indian Penal Code's section 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by public servant)", City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra said in a statement.

On Friday, levels of particulates 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, the most harmful to human health, peaked at 845, according to the United States embassy website that monitors air quality independently.

The smog over Delhi has thickened in last 48 hours, after the Diwali celebrations which led to an unprecedented increase in the pollution.

Air pollution in New Delhi hit hazardous levels Thursday after a night of free-for-all Diwali fireworks, despite Supreme Court efforts to curb the smog-fuelling partying.

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. Delhi needs an "air quality manager" who has a clearly defined power.

The situation was similar, if not worse, in the neighbouring areas of Delhi such as Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad, where crackers were burst as usual, raising question marks on the efficacy of the administration in enforcing the top court's ban. Early morning at 1 am, smoke layer became thick and started to trap pollutants near the surface rapidly.

A "very poor" AQI translates into spike in respiratory illnesses and if the air quality dips further, the AQI turns "severe", which troubles healthy individuals and seriously affects those with health issues.

Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the use of "green" firecrackers for Diwali, but only for two hours in the evening. The overall AQI of the city was 11 times the permissible limit.

Despite the order, certain places reported violation of the specified time period.

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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