air pollution

Delhi’s air quality is better this Diwali, says report

The air quality levels in Kolkata were ranked ‘moderate’.

Pollution levels in Delhi are lower compared to the air quality recorded during Diwali in 2016, IANS reported quoting the Central Pollution Control Board. The board’s air quality index ranked Delhi’s level as “very poor” at a 322 value. In 2016, the city’s air quality levels were ranked at a “severe” level with an index value recording of 431, the news agency reported.

On October 9, the Supreme Court had said it wanted to assess the difference in air quality in the highly polluted region after the firecracker ban.

The board’s data attributed Thursday’s air quality levels to particulate matter that are tiny particles in the atmosphere that can easily enter a peoples’ lungs.

The CPCB data, recorded at 4pm, described the air quality levels in Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi as “severe” but later updated it to a “very poor” status. In Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board found particulate matter levels had risen significantly this Diwali when compared to the festival time in 2016. The Central Pollution Control Board data said Chennai’s air quality levels were “poor”.

The air quality levels in Kolkata and Mumbai were pegged “moderate”.

According to the grading system, “severe” is the lowest rank and “good” an indicator of minimal impact.

In 2016, the alarming smog after Diwali celebrations in Delhi-NCR had forced schools to remain closed for three days, and the National Green Tribunal had declared an environmental emergency in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The Supreme Court-appointed body, the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority, on Tuesday banned diesel generators in Delhi after the air quality entered the “Red Zone”. The Badarpur power plant was also shut down, and hundreds of brick kilns were also ordered to stop production.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.