'Delhi saw BIG DROP in ...': Gopal Rai on 'very poor' air quality post Diwali
Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai has claimed that the national capital recorded a BIG DROP in incidents of firecracker bursting this Diwali as compared to last year. Rai further claimed the Punjab government controlled stubble burning in the state without support from the Centre.
- Much fewer firecrackers were burnt on Diwali this year in Delhi
- Gopal Rai said that AQI was better in Delhi this year as compared to the past 7 years on Diwali
- Despite a ban on firecrackers, the AQI in Delhi was recorded in the 'very poor' category on Diwali
New Delhi: Despite the air quality turning “very poor” in the national capital on Tuesday, Environment Minister Gopal Rai has claimed that Delhi recorded a BIG DROP in incidents of firecracker bursting this Diwali as compared to last year. “The incidents of the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali in Delhi dropped by 30 per cent this year as compared to last year and the city recorded its best air quality for the day after the festival in five years,” AAP leader and Environment Minister Gopal Rai said.
The air quality index (AQI) stood at 323 on Tuesday (the day after Diwali) as compared to 462 last year, he said. "People of Delhi were very thoughtful on Diwali this year and I want to thank them. Today, the pollution level is the lowest in five years," Rai told reporters on the sidelines of an event where he launched 150 mobile anti-smog guns.
He said the anti-smog guns will be deployed at 40 spots across the capital where air pollution is high. The minister said incidents of bursting firecrackers came down by 30 per cent on Diwali this year.
"The AQI of 323 is still worrying and tells us that air pollution will increase in the coming days," he said. Rai further claimed the Punjab government controlled stubble burning in the state without support from the Centre.
"Punjab reported 1,019 incidents of stubble burning on Diwali day (Monday) as compared to 3,032 on Diwali last year. "On the other hand, farm fires have increased in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Despite a ban on firecrackers, the air quality in Delhi on Diwali was recorded in the 'very poor' category on Tuesday, making it the most polluted city in the world. According to a report, the national capital was the most polluted city in the world on Monday (October 24, 2022), followed by Pakistan's Lahore. Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) on Monday was around 312. It, however, recorded the second-best AQI on Diwali day in past seven years as favourable meteorological conditions diluted the effect of firecrackers and stubble burning.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. According to the Early Warning System of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the capital's air quality is likely to remain in the 'very poor' category till October 27.
It is notable that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had last month announced a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, 2023, including on Diwali, a practice it has been following for the last two years. Firecrackers, however, were burst in several parts of Delhi despite a ban on them.
According to Central Pollution Control Board data, Delhi recorded an AQI of 382 on Diwali last year, 414 in 2020, 337 in 2019, 281 in 2018, 319 in 2017, and 431 in 2016.