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After Delhi defies arbitrary firecracker ban, claims of Diwali causing pollution busted as air quality improves after Diwali

Interestingly, data also shows that air pollution level actually starts to go down after Diwali at a very rapid rate

National Green Tribunal imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers in Delhi/NCR just before the festivities could begin. As always, the blame for extensively polluted air in Delhi/NCR went to Diwali as Hindus burst firecrackers to celebrate the return of Maryada Purshotam Ram to Ayodhya. Amid the blanket ban, nothing could stop Delhi from bursting crackers and celebrating Diwali the way it should be.

However, the pollution data from the day after Diwali completely debunks the claim that Diwali is the most significant cause of pollution, requiring a complete ban on firecrackers during the Hindu festival. Data shows that not only there was not any increase in air pollution level due to Diwali, it actually came down by a significant extent.

Here are some visuals of people enjoying the most important Hindu festival.

After the Diwali, netizens posted visuals of Delhi showing better Air Quality compared to last week, showing that the firecrackers didn’t have much impact on the air quality.

Air Quality Index shows firecrackers are NOT the problem

National Green Tribunal and anti-Hindu propagandists posing as ‘AQ-warriors’ often blame Diwali for the pollution in Delhi around Diwali. However, the latest numbers show that Diwali has the least impact on the Air Quality of the region. According to the data recorded by Central Pollution Control Board on 15th November, prominent pollutant PM2.5 is slightly higher than yesterday and almost equal to 5th November stats. In regions like ITO and IGI Airport T3, Air Quality was better on 15th November compared to 5th November.

Air Quality Index comparison at Alipur, Delhi
Air Quality Index comparison at ITO, Delhi
Air Quality Index comparison at IGI Airport (T3), Delhi

Interestingly, no one was bursting crackers on 5th November. It was all because of the stubble burning that was happening across north India, where farmers are too keep to destroy the environment with their leftover paddy straws. While heavy police were deployed in the states where firecrackers were banned by NGT to arrest Hindus for bursting crackers, the governments failed to control the rogue farmers burning stubble despite a blanket ban on the practice.

Pollution comes down after Diwali

Interestingly, data also shows that the air pollution level actually starts to go down after Diwali at a very rapid rate. Graphs shared on Social media shows that while the air quality index did cross 900 around the midnight, perhaps by the time when most firecrackers had been durst, the AQI dropped at a very rate after that at several locations in Delhi, coming down by almost 100-200 points per hours, reaching between 200 and 300 in the motning.

Similar trend was seen in Hyderabad also, where pollution level came down after the firecracker bursting on Diwali.

Blaming Diwali is favorite past-time of news agencies like NDTV

NDTV published a report “Diwali Weather: Delhi’s Air Quality Likely To Become “Severe” By Tonight.” The aim was to demean the festival quoting ‘Experts’ who blamed worsening air quality on emissions of fireworks and the presence of calm winds. The fact is Delhi observed only eight ‘satisfactory’ air quality days in September 2020 as compared to 19 and 13 in September 2019 (AQI 98) and September 2018 (AQI 112), respectively. It must be mentioned that an AQI rating between 51 and 100 is deemed satisfactory.

Experts had made it clear as early as September that multiple environmental factors such as rainfall and man-made elements such as stubble burning and vehicular movement were behind the low air quality. Diwali was not even in sight during September. However, news agencies like NDTV never miss a chance to shift the blame to Hindus celebrating Diwali for the worse air quality in Delhi.

If Delhi is choking the reason is not Diwali but stubble burning

Every year, around Diwali, farmers across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other neighbouring states burn leftover stubble of their paddy produce. They prefer throwing a matchstick instead of using eco-friendly ways to manage stubble. As per them, throwing matchstick is a free and quick way to clear the field for the next crop. Though their greedy attitude harms the environment, it severely affects the soil’s quality as the fire reduces soil nutrition and kills friendly insects and microbes.

Despite the ban on stubble burning, the government of Punjab had failed miserably in controlling the stubble burning incidents. 2020 saw a sharp rise of 240% in such incidents in Punjab. On the other hand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh managed to reduce such incidents by 30%. The central government aims to reduce the number of stubble burning incidents further in the coming years to ensure the least impact on the environment.

NGT’s ban hurt manufacturers and dealers every year

Every year, activists go to court and NGT, seeking a ban on Diwali celebrations. Unfortunately, NGT, who has failed to execute its ban orders on stubble burning, happily target the Hindu festival and ban firecrackers just before the festival. It affects the traders who got the license to sell firecrackers and invested in stock and the manufacturers, especially in Sivakasi. India’s firecrackers industry is failing because of a ban that is not even backed by scientific proof. What is worrying is, most state govts had issued licenses for sale of ‘green firecrackers’ in their states, and accordingly the traders had got the licenses and stocked the products. But suddenly just a few days before Diwali several states completely banned firecrackers, and made it a crime to stock and sale firecrackers. Which means, people who were issued licenses to sell firecrackers were turned criminals overnight, and such traders were arrested by police for the crime of selling firecrackers.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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