Diwali's Dark Effect: Three Indian Cities Join The World's Most Polluted List

New Delhi, as is customary, reigns supreme as the most polluted city, while Mumbai follows closely behind in sixth place with an AQI of 157, narrowly edged out by Kolkata with an AQI of 154.

Two cities in India, Mumbai and Kolkata, now have air as dirty as New Delhi, the capital city. The air in these cities has become much dirtier since Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights when people set off firecrackers. New Delhi, the city with the worst air in the world, had an AQI of 407 on Monday, which is very dangerous.

Mumbai, the business centre of India, had an AQI of 157, making it the sixth most polluted city globally. Kolkata, in eastern India, was not far behind, with an AQI of 154. An AQI of 400 to 500 is dangerous for everyone and very dangerous for people with lung or heart problems.

An AQI level between 150 and 200, while not as severe, can cause discomfort and aggravate existing health issues for people with asthma, lung diseases, and heart problems. AQI levels below 50 are considered good and pose minimal health risks.

A thick blanket of smog descended upon New Delhi on Sunday night, causing the city's AQI to skyrocket to an alarming 680 just after midnight. Parliamentarian Saket Gokhale took to microblogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to address a letter to the local police authorities, seeking comprehensive information regarding the number of firecracker-related offences registered and the actions taken against those responsible.

Air quality in northern India takes a sharp turn for the worse each year as winter approaches. The cold air traps pollutants from various sources, including vehicles, industries, construction activities, and the burning of agricultural waste.

The authorities must prioritize effective measures to address this critical issue and safeguard public health. The government wants to protect people from the bad air, so they are keeping schools closed and not allowing any construction to happen.