Scattered Thoughts : Diwali Smog

Looking at the frightening smog that I am encountering daily since Diwali and looking at all media outlets, social and traditional, attributing it to Diwali fireworks there are a lot of thoughts in my mind. Honestly, I am not able to format them in a presentable way so I would rather make a disorganized scattered list.

  1. Indian fireworks industry is pretty small (INR 2000 crores in 2013) and its market has been getting smaller every year by both the decrease in demand and the increase in sales of Chinese fireworks. Legislative and accident related issues also have a fair share in this industries misery. More info here
  2. Now this is completely anecdotal but I personally feel that there has been a palpable drop in the amount of fireworks Delhi consumes every Diwali. Without denying that it still is certainly way more than it should be, it is still getting reduced every year. (I couldn’t find sales numbers to quote, hence the anecdote). Yet this is probably the first time the smog situation has been this bad even 3 days after Diwali. Maybe I am missing something or there are some factors at play.
  3. Diwali is a one-time occurrence annually. The idea that somehow NCR was able to produce such a huge amount of pollution that it is overshadowing the other major regular players like industries, traffic, and fires (accidents as well as deliberate one) is really hard to put my head around. Considering that I believe that its contribution to pollution has been going down steadily.

There is already a spike in the number of people of Delhi who searched “air purifiers” which is truly unfortunately. Preemptively preventing the need for air purifiers would have been a much better way of dealing with this. Maybe Diwali was indeed the sole cause of this smog, maybe it was the straw that broke the camels back. I am not sure what is happening here but things are really bad.

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