New Delhi drowned under a thick toxic fog after the festival of Diwali
Eva Deschamps / November 5, 2021
New Delhi was on Friday enveloped in a thick toxic fog the day after Diwali, Hindu festival of lights, celebrated with multitudes of oil lamps and candles that burned all night with a lot of firecrackers, although banned for sale.
In the most polluted areas, the average level of harmful PM 2.5 particles exceeded 400, according to the air quality index, more than 15 times the daily safety limit set by the World Health Organization.
India's Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the local government urged residents to go without them to celebrate Diwali, to no avail.
Some people in the capital of 20 million people managed to get hold of them and kept on blowing them up until the early hours of the morning for the annual festival of lights.
Smoke from firecrackers, oil lamps, and candles combined with industrial emissions, automobile emissions, and agricultural fires produce a thick toxic yellow-gray haze that envelops New Delhi and other Indian cities in winter.
Many residents of the capital feel that the government is not doing enough to fight pollution.
A report by the Swiss organization IQAir in 2020 revealed that 22 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world were in India, with New Delhi as the world champion capital in this area.
According to the Lancet, 1.67 million deaths were attributable to air pollution in India in 2019, including nearly 17,500 in New Delhi.