Delhi is suffocating due to toxic pollution exacerbated by Diwali crackers – News Couple

Delhi is suffocating due to toxic pollution exacerbated by Diwali crackers

New Delhi has been swept by a toxic cloud of pollution after millions of residents defied a ban on the use of firecrackers during the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Air pollution early Friday morning exceeded measurable levels, as all of the city’s air quality monitors read an alarming number of 999 — gauges no longer able to discern change beyond. A reading above 100 is considered unhealthy.

The Lancet medical journal estimated that air pollution in India causes one million deaths annually.

Air quality deteriorated across northern India in the days leading up to Diwali as farmers in neighboring agricultural states burned their fields to remove leftover rice after harvest and prepare the land for sowing winter wheat.

But that air became toxic, after the fireworks set off, as many Indians ignored the ban to celebrate the Hindu “festival of lights” on Thursday night.

Hindu nationalists praised “civil disobedience”. The role of fireworks in creating the annual weather emergency in New Delhi after Diwali has become an issue of concern among some Hindus, who have likened the restrictions to attacks on their religion.

“These guys won’t stop until Deepavali becomes a funeral like funeral,” S. tweeted.

In another tweet, he said: “Indian liberals want to destroy Deepawali in India.”

Jaggi Vasudev, a teacher widely known as Sadhguru and a regular at the World Economic Forum in Davos, insisted that Indian children should not be denied the joy of Diwali fireworks.

“Don’t let environmentalists suddenly say that no child should have crackers,” Vasudev said in a video message on the eve of the holiday.

Instead, the teacher said people concerned about air pollution should “sacrific for the children” and walk to work for three days. “Don’t drive your car,” he said. “Let the kids have fun blasting the biscuits.”

The local government in New Delhi and authorities in neighboring towns banned the sale and use of fireworks this year, but local newspapers reported that traders had set up a thriving black market, delivering smuggled firecrackers directly to people’s homes.

“Killer smoke in the air this morning,” tweeted Sagarika Gus, author from Delhi Why am I a liberal. “Indians are literally choking to death and mocking the #cracker ban just to assert religious and cultural identity.”

New Delhi has been ranked as the planet’s most polluted capital for the past three years by a global air quality report by Swiss air technology company IQAir, while the bedroom-adjacent community of Ghaziabad is the most polluted city on Earth after Hotan in China.

Ten of the world’s 15 most polluted cities are located in northern India, where the air is polluted with a mixture of diesel exhaust fumes, construction dust, industrial emissions and burning crops.

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