Soon after police patrols stopped, people celebrated the festival of lights the old fashioned way- by bursting crackers.
Each year during Diwali, the AQI all over India shoots up to undesirable levels. This year has been no different, despite ban and limitations on crackers. In Lucknow, the AQI prior to Diwali stood at a relatively normal figure of 150 to 210 units. On 14th November, the AQI escalated up to severely harmful figures of nearly 600 in certain areas.
In Uttar Pradesh, the government had imposed a ban on sale and purchase of firecrackers in 13 cities. While Lucknow was one of these cities, there seemed to be no decrease in the number of people who got out to the streets and made merry during Diwali. Following a day of bad air, the skies in Lucknow once again turned clear as rain blessed the city.
AQI in Lucknow settles at 'Hazardous'
Following the sudden surge of AQI figures up to 600 on the day of the festival of lights, the PM 2.5 particulate matter settled down and on Sunday morning, Lucknowites woke up to a stable AQI of 339. In several areas of Lucknow, the AQI dwindles between 350-450 units.
In the Rajajipuram locality, the AQI was 752 on Sunday morning and Naka Hind, Qaiserbagh and Lalbagh areas recorded AQI at 450- all in the 'Hazardous' category. In Gomti Nagar, the AQI stood at nearly 300. PM 2.5 particulate is notorious for causing severe lung issues and if a COVID-19 patient is exposed to it for long, it could have unwarranted effects.
Experts were certain that the level of AQI would remain around the Unhealthy to Hazardous mark, but the sudden winds and rains on the night of 15th November brought a much needed cleansing of the city. As of now on Monday morning, the AQI in the city stands at 89.
It should be our endeavour to keep the AQI around the same in the coming few days, despite the damage that was caused during Diwali.