Despite ban on fireworks, air pollution increases, odd-even scheme may be plan in Delhi

Delhi Air Pollution: Amid the smog shrouding the national capital and a severe rise in air pollution levels, the air quality index reached above 400 at most places after Diwali night. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on November 13 that the government will implement an odd-even scheme if the AQI reaches ‘severe plus’ (450 or above), the Indian Express reported.

He also clarified that till the next meeting of the Air Quality Management Commission, GRAP-IV will continue in New Delhi, the ‘Anti Open Burning’ campaign will run in Delhi from November 14 to December 14.

Among other things, Rai alleged that the firecrackers burst in Delhi on Sunday night for Diwali had come from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Addressing a press conference, he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “If these states had implemented the ban on firecrackers and their police had performed their duty properly, Delhi would not have faced problems.

Best air quality on Diwali

On Sunday, the city recorded its best air quality in eight years, with the 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) reaching 218 at 4 pm. However, the city witnessed a rise in pollution levels amid low temperatures as firecrackers were burst till late Sunday night.

By noon on Monday, pollution levels approached the ‘severe’ category (AQI between 400 and 450) in some areas, including Ayanagar (382), Central Road Research Institute (393), and Pusa (391).

Records of previous years after Diwali

If we look at the data, according to the data of the Central Pollution Control Board, AQI was recorded 312 in Delhi last year on Diwali, 382 in 2021, 414 in 2020, 337 in 2019, 281 in 2018, 319 in 2017 and 431 in 2016.

Violation of Supreme Court ban

Earlier on November 7, the Supreme Court had said that its order to ban barium-containing firecrackers is binding on every state and is not limited to just the Delhi-NCR region.

However, it was breached in the national capital on Diwali night and the AQI level is expected to deteriorate on Tuesday.

(with agency input)