Delhi Minister Gopal Rai Blames Crackers After AQI Climbs To 462

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By: Anand Singh
Updated: 05 November, 2021 3:29 pm IST
Delhi's Environment minister Gopal Rai alleged that the BJP made people burst firecrackers on Diwali on Thursday. (Picture: Gopal Rai/Twitter account)

NEW DELHI: Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday said that the capital’s air quality had deteriorated due to some people deliberately bursting firecrackers and rise in stubble burning.

The national capital woke to a hazy morning. According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the city’s air quality remained in severe category. It said that the Air Quality Index (AQI) is 586.

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It said that the air quality over Delhi-NCT is likely to improve but remain in “severe” category on November 5.

“The contribution from firecrackers, biomass burning and unfavourable weather conditions brought AQI in severe category,” it said, adding that the air quality is likely to improve further on November 6 owing to strong winds and remain in the ‘very poor’ category.

“The contribution of biomass burning is also likely to increase as winds will be westerly from November 5 onwards. The Outlook for subsequent 5 Days: The air quality is likely to start improving marginally from November 6 owing to strong winds. PM2.5 to be the predominant pollutant,” it added.

Meanwhile, speaking to media here, Rai said, “Delhi recorded lowest pollution levels in October this year in comparison to last five years. But pollution level is increasing for the last three days due to firecrackers bursting and an increase in stubble burning.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said, “However, it is lesser than previous years.”

Slamming the AAP leader, Delhi BJP Spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said Rai’s continuous anti-cracker campaign reflects his thought process influenced by Muslim monarch Aurangzeb.

“People of Delhi by bursting crackers yesterday Diwali night have given a befitting reply to this Aurangzeb influenced political thinking,” Kapoor said.

In September, the Delhi government imposed a complete ban on the sale and usage of firecrackers on Diwali. The ban will continue till January 2022, as per the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, to curb the pollution levels in the city during the winter season.

On September 15, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the ban on sale and usage of fire crackers in Delhi. This pre-emptive ban was imposed in view of the city’s deteriorating air quality over the past three years, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a series of tweets.

Hitting out at the Delhi government, the BJP leader said, “Delhi government has totally failed to control air and water pollution and therefore to evade responsibility Rai has tried to squarely blame Diwali night crackers for air pollution and Chath Puja at Yamuna Ghats for Yamunaji’s water pollution in true Aurangzebi style.”

“People of Delhi will never forgive Rai for running malafide campaign against Hindu festivities,” he added.

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