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The Diwali Pollution Scare

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It is that time of the year when all Hindus are shamed for celebrating one of their most important festivals - Diwali. Apart from lights, the festival is celebrated with fireworks and crackers. The common refrain is that the festival causes pollution, and serious harm to health of kids and adults alike. Besides which, we are also reminded of animals not liking loud noises, and the pollution killing off birds - all for one day. 
While smoke is an issue on Diwali day, we will take stock of the facts about pollution - and Diwali's contribution to it. There are few threads in this problem: a) the overall pollution levels and the source thereof, b) the persistence of firecracker / Diwali pollution, and c) the economics of firework / crackers in the recent years.
A Greenpeace report [here] reports that all around the year, Indian metropolii are uninhabitable with respect to air quality. Particularly, Delhi has the distinction of being the most polluted city in the world. Average year r…