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Delhi Firecracker Ban Sparks Controversy

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Delhi Firecracker Ban
Pavement sellers in New Delhi are all geared up to sell earthen lamps and other decorative items used during Diwali. voa

As New Delhi battles deadly air pollution, it might be missing the customary fireworks during the Hindu festival of lights, following a temporary Delhi Firecracker Ban imposed by the Supreme Court on the sale of firecrackers.

The order has raised a firestorm in the city of about 18 million as it gears up for Diwali on October 19. Complaining that the order strikes at the heart of a quintessential Hindu tradition, critics compared it to banning Christmas trees on Christmas. Jubilant supporters pointed out that the top priority is the health of citizens in a city where the air turns toxic at this time of the year because of slower winds and colder temperatures that trap more pollution.

“Let’s try at least one Diwali without firecrackers,” said one judge as the court announced the order Monday. The Supreme Court ban is not new — it was also imposed last year, but only after the festival when New Delhi was already enveloped in a haze of smog.

Shops in National Capital Region are stocked with gifts and sweets as the festival of Diwali approaches. voa

The Delhi Firecracker Ban was partially lifted last month as Diwali approached, but it has been reimposed in connection with a public interest lawsuit on behalf of three children who are seeking the court’s intervention to better clean up Delhi’s toxic air.

Supporters of the Delhi Firecracker Ban hope the preemptive measure will prevent pollution from reaching levels of last year when air quality was nearly 20 times the safe limit set by the World Health Organization in the days following the festival. Many people became sick and that led city authorities to impose emergency measures such as closing schools.

Environmental experts, however, point out the measure would help at a time when the air is already saturated with pollutants.

India’s environment minister, Harsh Vardhan, welcomed the Delhi Firecracker Ban order and urged people to abide by it and “give green Diwali and our environment a chance.”

But there were sharp divisions. Some in his Hindu nationalist party voiced anger at what they saw as a blow to an age-old Hindu custom. Diwali is known as the festival of lights when homes are decorated with oil lamps, but it is also customary to set off firecrackers at night.

A popular author, Chetan Bhagat, compared the ruling to “banning Christmas trees on Christmas” and tweeted “Regulate. Don’t ban. Respect traditions.”

It is unclear who will win out on Diwali day — environmentalists, thousands of ordinary citizens and school children, who have conducted campaigns for several years to abandon the tradition and rejoice in other ways or diehard enthusiasts, who say the order has left the door open for them to bring in firecrackers from neighboring towns.

No one, however, including the critics, dispute that Delhi’s air pollution needs urgent attention. A 2015 study said that the lungs of half the children in the city have been damaged due to the toxic air. Doctors also link the dirty air to a rise in respiratory diseases and heart attacks and advise elderly people to leave the city in winter.

After last year’s experience, city authorities have put an action Delhi Firecracker Ban, starting Sunday to tackle any alarming rise in pollution levels. That will include banning trucks from the city, halting construction activity and restricting traffic. (voa)

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R Madhavan Gifts Himself an Indian Roadmaster Worth Rs 40 Lakhs on Diwali

Maddy declares himself as a proud Indian posing with the Roadmaster for his Instagram followers.

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R Madhavan
R Madhavan with his Diwali gift the Indian Roadmaster. Instagram

New Delhi, October 24: Ranganathan Madhavan, admiringly called as R Madhavan or Maddy is known for his romantic films and his exquisite love for two wheels. This Diwali R Madhavan has upgraded his garage with an exclusive product by Indian Motorcycles’ flagship – the Roadmaster. The best owner, R Madhavan gifted himself this luxurious vehicle to make his Diwali all the more memorable and he took to Instagram to share the arrival of his prized possession.

Maddy declares himself as a proud Indian posing with the Roadmaster for his Instagram followers.

R Madhavan
R Madhavan shares the arrival picture of his Roadmaster. Instagram.

The Roadmaster is one of the most deluxe and classy cruiser motorcycles, with vintage style that costs around 40-45Lakhs. With supreme structure on the outer part, the Roadmaster has all the modern technology for smoother and comfortable rides.

As for the entertainment factor, the Roadmaster is acquired of that as well. With a 7-inch touchscreen system, it provides access to music, navigation, health and more. That’s not all. A smartphone can be combinedly used with the motorcycle with USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Was the Ban on Sale of Firecrackers in Delhi Successful? Data on Pollution Levels in Delhi Say Otherwise

Despite the much talked about cracker-ban, pollution monitoring stations placed the capital in the ‘red zone’, indicating ‘very poor’ air quality.

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pollution levels
While the ban on crackers imposed by the Supreme Court aimed to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, figures from pollution monitoring system paint an unhealthy picture with amplified levels of air pollution. (Representative image) Pixabay

New Delhi, October 20, 2017: The Supreme Court had on October 9 banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi during Diwali in order to counter the pollution, deteriorating air quality and smog-like conditions that have come to be associated with the festival in recent times.

While a radical change was not expected following the ban on firecrackers, a humble and promising beginning could be witnessed on Diwali with majority areas in Delhi reporting much lesser noise and smoke till 6 PM, compared to previous years.

However, as the festive spirit picked up from 7 PM onwards, the hopes for a pollution-free Diwali got lost behind the growing echo of the crackers.

Pollution Levels on Diwali

Despite the much talked about the ban on firecrackers, pollution monitoring stations placed the capital in the ‘red zone’, indicating ‘very poor’ air quality. According to the stats available, on Diwali day around 7 pm, online indicators showed a rising trend in the volume of cancer-causing ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10 that are capable of entering the respiratory system and reach the bloodstream.

PM2.5 and PM10 are the extremely fine particulate matter with the digits representing their diameter in micrometers. They are a major component of air pollutants that threaten both, our health and the environment at large.

ALSO READ 10 Quick Facts About Delhi Pollution Problem

However, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) suggested that the air quality in Delhi on Diwali was better than last year.

On Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was 319 which placed the city in the ‘very poor’ category. However, the AQI value on Diwali last year was 431 and the city was placed in the ‘severe’ category.

According to data from SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the 24-hour rolling average at around 11 PM was revealed as 154 and 256 micrograms per cubic meter for PM2.5 and PM10 respectively.

According to SAFAR data, pollution levels were expected to soar between 11 PM and 3 AM.

Pollution Levels in the Morning after Diwali

As the night progressed, PM2.5 levels recorded a sharp rise in multiple areas in and around Delhi, with 15 times increase in areas like India Gate

As per data from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM2.5 levels at 6 AM in,

India Gate – 911 microns (Normal level – 60 microns)

RK Puram – 776 microns (13 times more than usual)

Ashoka Vihar – 820 microns (14 times more than normal)

Anand Vihar – 617 microns (10 times more than normal)

A sharp rise was observed in the PM10 levels in the early hours of the morning after Diwali which suggest hazardous pollution levels in Delhi.

As per data from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM10 levels at 6 AM in,

India Gate – 985 microns

RK Puram – 1083 (11 times more than usual)

Anand Vihar – 2402 microns (24 times more than normal. Normal level is considered around 100 microns)

While the ban on firecrackers imposed by the Supreme Court aimed to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, figures from pollution monitoring system paint an unhealthy picture with amplified levels of air pollution.

Official figures from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are yet to be announced today. However, judging from the data available, it won’t be wrong to say that pollution levels in Delhi have increased post-Diwali.

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Hairstyles to Get the Chic look for Diwali Eve

Enhance your traditional attire with these oh-so-easy hairstyles and look the most glamorous among your gang for Diwali Eve tonight

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Hairstyles
Hairstyles to rock the Diwali Eve. Pixabay.
  • Diwali has got you excited since days and undoubtedly you would want to look your best today.
  • We have got some relief for you by presenting the trending hairstyles that you can give a try today to rock the Diwali eve with that chic look on your traditional attire.

Beachy Wave Hairstyle

Universally admired by red carpet celebrities and the daily beauty lovers alike. Getting those perfectly-loose curls is oh-so-simple. They take less than 10 minutes. Just use air dryer, curling wand, and your magical fingers to give you that boho chic look. This kind of hairstyles gives a bounce on your hair, making it suitable for a festive season like Diwali.

Hairstyle
Beachy Hairstyle a must try on the Diwali day. Wikimedia.

Side Fishtail Braid

This superficial, intricate-looking will definitely set your look intimidating for Diwali Eve. Braiding being the easiest hairstyle to master. This requires no hot tools or hair products, just keep trying the ends of the hair into braids by dividing into two sections. Throw out your hair open or tied with the braid on the side to enhance your hairstyle.

Hairstyles
Side Fish Tail Braid will get you boarded with the ethnic look. Wikimedia.

You may also try out the Messy Fish Tail Braid hairstyle which is suitable if you have short hair.

Hairstyles
Try this messy fishtail braid for short hair. Pixabay.

ALSO READ: Diwali 2017: 5 Fun things You can do this Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

Rose Braided Bun

Elegant & romantic, rose-bud, flower braid bun hairstyles is suitable for medium or long hair. Part your hairs from the center into three sections and separate a small portion of your hair from near your hairline. Create the braids normally and wrap it in a form of a beautiful flower in the center.You may also try the similar wrap around crown braid which will let you glow in the crowd on Diwali day.

Hairstyles
Rose Braided hairdo is surely gonna make you feel glamorous. Pixabay.

Low Pony Tail

No matter your hair kind or face shape, this hairstyle is surprisingly easy to master the look for any festive occasion. Just Slip your hair into a chic low pony and you’re done for the night. You may do a sharp low side-part to get that ethnic look hairstyle with your traditional attire. Showcase your traditional jhumkas over this low ponytail look.

Hairstyles
Low Pony Tail Look for Diwali Night. Pixabay.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana