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Delhi’s Post-Diwali Air Quality Best In 5 Years, Says Environment Minister Gopal Rai, Launches 150 Mobile Anti-Smog Guns

The air quality index (AQI) stood at 323 on Tuesday (the day after Diwali) as compared to 462 last year, which means the “air pollution declined by over 30 per cent, said Environment Minister Gopal Rai

Delhi's Post-Diwali Air Quality Best In 5 Years, Says Environment Minister Gopal Rai, Launches 150 Mobile Anti-Smog Guns
Environment Minister Gopal Rai flagged off 150 mobile anti-smog guns to mitigate air pollution in Delhi

New Delhi: Delhi saw a 30 per cent drop in incidents of bursting of firecrackers on Diwali this year as against last year and recorded its best air quality for the day after the festival in five years, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday (October 25). The air quality index (AQI) stood at 323 on Tuesday (the day after Diwali) as compared to 462 last year, which means the “air pollution declined by over 30 per cent”, he said. The minister said the AQI on the day after Diwali stood at 390 in 2018, 368 in 2019 and 435 in 2020.

Also Read: Delhi Sees Over 50% Decline In PM2.5, PM10 levels This Diwali Compared To Last Year

“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,” Mr Rai told reporters on the sidelines of an event where he flagged off 150 mobile anti-smog guns.

He said the anti-smog guns will sprinkle water in areas where air pollution is high. Ten such anti-smog guns were launched last year.

The minister said incidents of bursting of firecrackers came down by 30 per cent on Diwali this year.

The Delhi government had in September reimposed a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, including on Diwali, a practice it has been following for the last two years.

Also Read: Delhi PM2.5 Pollution In Winters Has Dipped 20 Per Cent Compared To Pre-Pandemic Period: Report

Mr Rai had last week said that bursting of firecrackers on Diwali in Delhi will attract a jail term of up to six months and a fine of Rs 200.

“The AQI of 323 is still worrying and tells us that air pollution will increase amid low temperatures in the coming days,” he said.

He 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.

Also Read: Connaught Place Smog Tower Has Noticeable Impact On Air Pollution Up To 300 Metres: Delhi Minister Gopal Rai

“Haryana and Uttar Pradesh reported 228 and 123 farm fires, respectively, on Diwali last year and have logged 250 and 215 such incidents this year. This shows farm fires have increased in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and decreased in Punjab,” he said.

Emissions from firecrackers and farm fires have contributed significantly to Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution on Diwali over the years.

The share of farm fires in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution was 25 per cent on Diwali in 2021, 32 per cent in 2020 and 19 per cent in 2019.

Since Diwali was observed early in the season this year, moderately warm and windier conditions prevented rapid accumulation of pollutants from firecrackers bursting and reduced the effect of stubble burning, according to experts.

Diwali was celebrated on November 4 in 2021 and on November 14 in 2020 when temperatures were considerably low and winds calm.

Also Read: Air Pollution Linked To Worse Outcomes For Patients With Lung Disease: Study

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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