Delhi anticipates best Diwali air quality in 8 years if firecracker ban succeeds

The Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal has imposed a stringent ban on firecrackers which may ensure the best air quality in Delhi on Diwali day in eight years. Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 202 at 7 am which is the best in the last few days post stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states since late October.

On November 11, the 24-hour average air quality index was registered at 220. This AQI level is the lowest for the day before Diwali in eight years. On November 10, the capital region received light showers in several places throughout the day. The air quality noted a further improvement due to favourable meteorological conditions involving increased wind speed which is essential for the dispersion of pollutants.

Rain and increased wind speed reduced the amount of suspended particulate matter in the air, that is PM 2.5 and PM 10 and hence improved air quality. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a partly cloudy sky with mist or shallow fog in the mornings for the next two days post-Diwali. 

Western disturbances led to rains over most parts of northwest India. Earlier, an IMD official said that the wind speed will increase to around 15 kilometres per hour on November 11 once the western disturbance passes, which will further improve air quality by dispersing pollutants ahead of Diwali.

Also read: Delhi air pollution: Avoid walks outside, consult doctors when…| Govt releases Do’s and Don’ts

According to CPCB data of 242 cities on November 9 twelve cities registered severe air quality while on November 11, no city across India registered ‘severe’ air quality.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on November 10 said, “Today, due to the rain and wind, pollution has reduced significantly. People of nearby cities are requested to light lamps and distribute sweets during Diwali but do not burst firecrackers. We want the pollution level to remain good even on the next day of Diwali.” He further added, ‘The campaign of ‘Diya Jalao, Patakhe nahi’ is starting from today,” reported ANI.

Also read: Delhi, NCR pollution LIVE updates: City wakes up to ‘poor’ air quality on Diwali; AQI at 202

The city experienced “very poor” to “severe” air quality for two weeks starting from October 28 following stubble-burning incidents in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Toxic haze blanketed the capital during this period. On November 9, the 24-hour average AQI stood at 437.

Vehicular emissions are a major factor, contributing 12 to 14 per cent to Delhi’s pollution, according to data from the Decision Support System. 

Also read: Air pollution news today: Air quality in Delhi remains ‘poor’ but shows significant improvement; AQI at 204

It is expected that low temperatures and firecracker burning could lead to a rise in pollution levels in Delhi on November 12 night. 

(With inputs from PTI  and ANI)

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Updated: 12 Nov 2023, 11:56 AM IST

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