Coughing kills Diwali delight

World | 9 Nov 2018

Air pollution in New Delhi hit hazardous levels yesterday after a night of free-for-all Diwali fireworks, despite Supreme Court efforts to curb the smog-fueling fun.

Major monuments including the India Gate and the Red Fort were hidden by a toxic haze. Commuters donned masks as visibility on roads was reduced to barely 50 meters.

Diwali is the biggest Hindu festival of the year, when firecrackers are traditionally let off.

Air quality in what the World Health Organization has said is the world's most polluted major city touched 595 yesterday morning, according to the US embassy in Delhi. Any reading over 300 is considered hazardous.

India's Supreme Court ruled last month that only environmentally friendly fireworks can be sold in Delhi, in a bid to cut the smog. The court also said firecrackers could only be set off between 8pm and 10pm.

But the capital's 20 million residents turned a deaf ear to the ruling.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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