City’s air quality likely to fall to ‘poor’ level tomorrow

Delhi Govt. to launch campaign against firecrackers

The air quality in the city improved to the “satisfactory” category on Monday, but it is expected to deteriorate from Wednesday, as per official data. The effect of stubble burning is also expected to increase during the week.

The Delhi Government will launch ‘Patakhe Nahi Diya Jalao’ campaign on Wednesday, to create awareness against burning of firecrackers.

“The Kejriwal Government will encourage people to celebrate Diwali with diyas through the campaign just like those times when firecrackers did not exist at all. Fifteen teams will be formed in all the 15 districts of Delhi Police, which will have 157 members. Along with the police, teams have been formed under the leadership of 33 SDMs, who will take action under this campaign,” Environment Minister Gopal Rai said.

There is a ban on sale and use of all types of firecrackers this Diwali in the city.

“If anyone witnesses an incident of illegal sale and/or burning of firecrackers, they can dial 112 and report it following which the police will take action,” the Minister said.

“As very calm local conditions are unlikely, rapid deterioration is not expected for the next three days. More fire emission is likely due to dry condition in the next three days in upwind region in north-west. Due to this, PM2.5 will increase. Drier condition will increase PM10. Thus, the overall air quality index (AQI) will be in the upper end of satisfactory to lower end of moderate category for the next three days,” government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) said in a statement.

On Monday, the contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5, a chief pollutant, in Delhi was estimated at 6% and the number of active fires counts in the region was only 127.

However, as satellites highly underestimate the counts during cloudy and rainy periods, actual counts might be much higher, SAFAR said.

The AQI of Delhi was 82 on Monday, down from 160 on Sunday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours and considered the day’s AQI.

The air quality on Wednesday and Thursday is expected to be in the higher end of poor to lower end of very poor category.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

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