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Delhi gears up for less noisy, less toxic Diwali

Delhi gears up for less noisy, less toxic Diwali
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NEW DELHI: Over 80 per cent of Delhiites are willing to abide by the Supreme Court ban on firecrackers and not to burn crackers this Diwali.
Some have also come out to say that though they wish to burn crackers but would not do so because of the Supreme Court ban, according to a survey.
The study conducted across Delhi-NCR to understand how the citizens are taking to the ban, sees an astonishing 87 per cent respondents saying they won't indulge in burning crackers.
Only 5 per cent of the 4,600 people who took part in the survey, said they already have crackers in their possession and would still burn them, despite a ban.
Another 8 per cent said that they know how to get firecrackers illegally and "would like" to burn them.
Last year on Diwali, Particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels in some areas of Delhi increased to 1,238.
The World Health Organization recommends that PM2.5 is kept below 10 as an annual average, as exposure to average annual concentrations of Particulate matter (PM)2.5 of 35 or above is associated with a 15 per cent higher long-term mortality risk.
The pollution usually goes up by five-times around Diwali and even 10 times due to excessive use of firecrackers combined with the crop burning phenomenon observed in Punjab and Haryana.
The Supreme Court, in an order on September 12, banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR for Dussehra and Diwali, with an emphasis on "health of children should be of foremost concern in this regard".
Delhi and NCR are one of the worst polluted regions in the world, with an annual average Particulate matter (PM)2.5 measurement of 122. On Tuesday, average air-quality index reading for Delhi was said to be "very poor" and "severe", amid apprehensions that firecrackers on Diwali would further worsen the air quality.

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