Capital India When families and friends gather to celebrate Deepavali, the Hindu festival of light in November, this Thursday (4) was taken by a dense and toxic cloud of pollution.
Thursday (4) Visitors walk along the highway through the fog caused by pollution during the Diwali festival in New Delhi, India – Photo: Sajjad Hussain / AFP
In addition to the agricultural fires that fill the air every winter, New Delhi is ranked among the most polluted cities on the planet in terms of both toxic gases from industry and its vehicle emissions.
Deepavali celebrations in Ayodhya, India on Wednesday (3) People light lanterns on the banks of the Sarayu River to mark the festival of lights – Photo: Sajjad Hussain / AFP
According to expert estimates, its 20 million people woke up to gray and yellow fog, which is expected in the coming days.
According to the air quality monitoring stations of the government agency SAFAR, the level of PM2.5 pollutants, the highest and most dangerous, rose to nearly 389 on Thursday (4).
Boy Lights Fireworks to Celebrate Deepavali in Kolkata, India on Thursday (4) – Photo: Reuters / Roopak De Chowdhury
This level is 15 times higher than the safety limits recommended by the World Health Organization.
SAFAR advised residents to avoid outdoor activities and wear masks.
People carry candles and firecrackers from the roofs of their houses to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, on Thursday (4) in Kolkata, India – Photo: Reuters / Rubak de Chowdhury
The company also warned that illegal firecrackers traditionally exploded on Diwali could further increase the pollution rate on Friday (5).
This phenomenon is triggered by fires carried out by farmers in neighboring states because they use fire to destroy their fields before sowing.
Houses and lanterns are lit to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights in Mumbai, India on Thursday (4) – Photo: Reuters / Francis Mascarenhas
Although this practice was banned in 2015, it is not over yet and causes huge spikes in winter pollution each year.
“The rate of pollution from fire has increased from 8% today to 25% and will reach 40% by Friday,” Kufran Peik, project director of SAFAR, told AFP.
Boy holds a glowing toothpick to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights in Mumbai, India on Thursday (4) – Photo: Reuters / Francis Mascarenhas
In 2020, a report by the Swiss charity IQAir showed that 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities were in India. New Delhi has been declared the most polluted capital in the world.
In the same year, The Lancet magazine pointed out that 1.67 million deaths in 2019 may be due to air pollution in India, including 17,500 in New Delhi.
On Thursday (4), at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, Sikh devotees light candles for their religious festival, Pandi Sore Diwas, associated with the Diwali of Light – Photo: Narinder Nanu / AFP
On Thursday (4), at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, Sikh devotees watch fireworks during the Bandi Sor Divas, a festival of their religion associated with Deepavali – Photo: Narinder Nanu / AFP
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