Air pollution 30 times WHO limit in parts of Delhi after people burst firecrackers on Deepavali defying ban 

In the early hours of Monday, the air pollution was over 66 times the WHO limit in many places, but it gradually came down

November 13, 2023 09:54 am | Updated 11:56 am IST - New Delhi

People walk along the Kartavya Path in front of the India Gate amid heavy smoggy conditions in New Delhi on November 13, 2023. 

People walk along the Kartavya Path in front of the India Gate amid heavy smoggy conditions in New Delhi on November 13, 2023.  | Photo Credit: AFP

The air pollution in parts of Delhi was 30 times the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribed limit, after people burst firecrackers across the city on Sunday night, the day of Deepavali, despite a ban on all forms of firecrackers, according to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data.

In the early hours of Monday, the air pollution was over 66 times the WHO limit in many places, but gradually came down. 

Also Read | Delhi air pollution: What you need to know right now?

The overall air quality of Delhi was in the “very poor” category at 10 a.m. on Monday, up from “poor” level at 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The city generally sees a spike in air pollution after Deepavali, as people defy the ban on firecrackers.

The air quality is likely to be in the “severe” category on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Central government’s Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi. Air pollution of “severe” level “affects healthy people” and “seriously impacts those with existing diseases”, according to the CPCB. 

Also Read | In pictures | India lights up to celebrate Deepavali

The level of PM2.5 (a chief pollutant) in Dwarka was 1,396 micrograms per cubic meter at 1 a.m. on Monday, as per DPCC data — This is about 93 times the WHO limit of 15 micrograms per cubic meter for a 24-hour period. But the level fell through the day to 346 micrograms per cubic meter by 10 a.m., which is 23 times the WHO limit. 

The level of the same pollutant was about 32 times the WHO limit at Bawana at 9 a.m. on Monday. 

The level of the pollutant at Punjabi Bagh was 1,111 micrograms per cubic meter at 1 a.m. on Monday — 74 times the WHO limit — but the level fell through the day to 423 micrograms per cubic meter by 9 a.m., which is 28 times the WHO limit.

Delhi was the “most polluted” major city in the world at 10.30 a.m. on Monday, according to IQAir’s (a Swiss air quality technology company) live data for over 100 cities. Delhi was the most polluted major city for many days in early November too. 

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