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Most polluted Deepavali in Delhi in five years

Pollution in the national capital rose to alarming proportions in the last three days, making it the most toxic Deepavali in the past five years and its effects continued a day after as a thick smog engulfed the capital in the morning hours on Monday.

There was a rapid build-up of various pollutants in Delhi’s air on Sunday evening as bursting of firecrackers spiked the pollution. 

The levels of almost all pollutants started increasing after 7 pm when fireworks began and were recorded to be higher than Deepavali in the last five years a day after, said Gufran Beig, Project Director at System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. 

According to the real time data with Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), pollution levels increased manifold in almost all locations under their radar.

On Sunday midnight, when the cracker burning was still on, the Particulate Matter (PM) 10 breached the 1,000 microgramme mark at various locations in the city. 

PM 10 at Anand Vihar monitoring station was at 1,441 microgramme per cubic metre (ug/m3), almost 14 times more than the safe limit of 100 ug/m3. 

Similarly, PM 2.5 at densely populated places like R K Puram and Punjabi Bagh spiked to 693 and 571 ug/m3, respectively, which is more than ten times the safe limit of 60 ug/m3. 

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