Crops and crackers: Our proposal on the Diwali smog problem

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Every year many voices are raised around the Diwali smog problem. Air pollution in Delhi results in approximately 80 deaths per day and this time around, the visible smog adds to trepidation of a public already worn thin by the pandemic lockdowns. At Blue Sky our maps are showing off-the-charts pollution levels across North India and we thought perhaps it was a good time to understand why air pollution casts a grim shadow on Diwali festivities and how we can solve this problem.

AQI (Air Quality Index) during Diwali nights has reached 999 (highest possible measure on the AQI scale) with the safe number being 60. In 2020, the Delhi Government has imposed a complete ban on sale and bursting of all type of recrackers.

However, as the adjacent state of Haryana has allowed bursting of recrackers for two hours on Diwali, the effect of the ban is likely to be minimal. Policies have so far focused on the lowest hanging fruit while ignoring the elephant in the room – STUBBLE BURNING!

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