New Delhi: Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said that pollution levels in the national capital were lowest this year in five years post Diwali, reported news agency PTI. The minister said that there was a thirty per cent decrease in bursting of firecrackers in the city and added that “people are becoming aware”.
The Air Quality Index in the national capital on Monday was classified as “very poor” due to an increase in stubble burning, firecracker burning, and moderately unfavourable meteorological conditions that allowed pollutants to accumulate, news agency PTI reported.
Rai said that around 150 smog guns will be deployed in areas where pollution is high.
Thirty per cent less firecrackers burst in Delhi this Diwali, people are becoming aware, says Environment Minister Gopal Rai
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) October 25, 2022
Ghaziabad (301), Noida (303), Greater Noida (270), Gurugram (325), and Faridabad (256) were among the cities with poor to very poor air quality.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the results of efforts made by Delhi residents to curb pollution in the city are encouraging but there is still a long way to go.
“Delhiites are working hard in the field of pollution. There have been very encouraging results but there is still a long way to go. We will make Delhi the best city in the world,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.
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Emissions from firecrackers and farm fires have contributed significantly to Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution on Diwali over the years.
The city reported a 24-hour average AQI of 259 on Sunday evening, the lowest for the day before Diwali in seven years, PTI reported.
As per the data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI in Delhi during last year’s Diwali was 382, 414 in 2020, 337 in 2019, 319 in 2017, and 431 in 2016.
An AQI of zero to 50 is regarded as “good,” 51 to 100 as “satisfactory,” 101 to 200 as “moderate,” 201 to 300 as “poor,” 301 to 400 as “very poor,” and 401 to 500 as “severe.”