Do you know how it feels like smoking 50 cigarettes? No, we are not telling you to smoke. Just step into Delhi a day after Diwali on Monday and you will know.
The pollution level shot up on Diwali night with the Air Quality Index (AQI) touching 999 —the upper limit of testing devices — in Mother Dairy area of Patparganj.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered safe, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor. At 301-400, it’s considered very poor and 401-500 falls in the severe category. Above 500, it’s an emergency.
According to AQICN, a real-time air pollution monitoring platform, the AQI at National Malaria Institute, Dwarka was 763 on Sunday night.
Experts say emission from firecrackers and stubble burning in the surrounding regions of the city are the reason for these high numbers.
At ITI Jahangirpuri, the pollution level was 407 followed by Srinivaspuri at 313, both in the poor category.
The US Embassy in Chanakyapuri recorded 189 at 8 pm.
None of the places in Delhi recorded below 100. As many as 29 of 37 air quality stations reported very poor AQI levels. PM 10 (tiny particulate matter of diameter 10 microns or less) matter reached 515 mcg at Anand Vihar, and PM 2.5 reached 400 in Wazirpur.
On Twitter, #DelhiChokes is trending. Residents have complained of a thin haze of smoke engulfing the city.
According to WHO, Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world.