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Delhi and NCR post Diwali – “Pran Jaye Par Akal Na Aaye”

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“Poor” Air Quality In & Around New Delhi

A few days past Diwali and the Indian capital city is already gasping for fresh air. Pollution levels are still high post-Diwali. Though the Delhi CM thinks that this year pollution has been the lowest, and the neighboring cities like Ghaziabad, Noida, and Gurgaon witnessed higher burning of crackers. People continue to do these acts despite poor air quality in and around these cities. The air quality index touched 388 in New Delhi last week itself, which was way higher than the acceptable safe limit of 60. People have now started joking that it is better to smoke cigarettes than to live in and around Delhi. India’s capital city, as well as neighboring cities of Bhiwadi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Noida,  continue to break all records for high pollution levels.

Though the government has tried to resolve the situation by introducing the odd-even scheme (from November 4th), bursting of firecrackers for a small window, purchasing green crackers, etc., the problem always seems to accentuate after the festival of lights. However, the results are far from encouraging. The government has been unsuccessful in stopping the 20,000 or so farmers from the states around Delhi from burning their residual crops. Stubble burning is one of the major causes which leads to a smog overhung in the air, leading to respiratory irritation and diseases for thousands of people living in these cities. Instead of focusing on so many remedial issues, wouldn’t it be fair to compensate these farmers, in a way that does not lead to crop burning?

During the five months from October to February, AQI values increase leading to very poor quality of air. Human activities, geographical location, climate and land cover are other factors affecting the quality of air in and around the Indian capital city. Stubble burning by farmers in the states surrounding Delhi causes a cloud of smog in the entire region.

Green crackers

In the wake of such sad events, there is no other way out except for applying sustainable solutions in transport, power, and other sectors. Some of such steps include shifting towards cleaner fuels, driving non-conventional vehicles and moving towards electric vehicles, installing emission monitoring systems, waste-to-energy plants, and increasing green cover, etc.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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