Air quality in Delhi will fluctuate in the coming days: Gopal Rai | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Air quality in Delhi will fluctuate in the coming days: Environment minister Gopal Rai

Oct 25, 2023 12:20 PM IST

The air quality in Delhi on Wednesday improved after it was recorded in the 'moderate' category, with the AQI at 190.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday said that the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital will fluctuate in the coming days in the wake of the upcoming festive and winter season.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai (HT PHOTO)
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai (HT PHOTO)

"Two days back, the AQI level in Delhi was above 300. A decrease in the AQI level has been recorded and it has come below 300. I think that in the days to come, this will keep fluctuating. It is being estimated that after October 30 this will perhaps go up again," Rai said to news agency ANI.

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The air quality in Delhi on Wednesday improved after it was recorded in the 'moderate' category, with the AQI at 190, as per SAFAR-India. As per the data, the AQI stood above 300 in at least 13 pollution hotspots in Delhi on Tuesday.

However, several instances of firecracker burning were also reported from parts of Delhi on the occasion of Dussehra on Tuesday. The minister urged the neighbouring states to ban firecrackers during the course of Diwali.

"I think that comparatively, firecrackers were burst at a fewer number of locations this time (during Dussehra)...I would like to once again request the states in Delhi-NCR to ban (firecrackers) because it is easily available to people in their states. I think if NCR states ban it too, this will have a better impact on Delhi," he said.

In accordance with the practice of the last three years, Delhi had last month announced a comprehensive ban on the manufacture, storage, sale, and use of firecrackers within the capital.

As stubble burning continues in parts of Punjab and Haryana, air quality in the national capital has worsened in the past few days. According to data as quoted by PTI, over 2,500 cases of stubble burning have been reported this year so far. However, farm fire numbers are better than those of the previous two years. Rai has said that the number of such cases is low as of now but is expected to increase after October 30.

"We are analysing our data, it shows that PM 10 - dust pollution - is going down in Delhi. Anti-dust campaign has been run across Delhi and all areas are being focussed on. Water sprinkling is being done. So, PM 10 is going down but PM 2.5 is going up. Vehicular pollution and pollution caused due to biomass burning outside play a major role in this. Keeping this in mind, we have called a meeting at Delhi Secretariat regarding preparations for the public awareness campaign - 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' that will be started from 26th October," he said.

Meanwhile, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM)'s sub-committee has invoked the 11-point action plan as per Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the national capital region due to depleting air quality. Under GRAP-2 restrictions, there will be a ban on the use of coal and wood-fired stoves, the frequency of CNG and electric buses will be increased, regular cleaning of roads and a sprinkling of water will be done, the traffic police will ensure there are no traffic jams to curb the pollution.

(With inputs from agencies)

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