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BJP instigated people to burst firecrackers: Gopal Rai

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: November 05, 2021 23:23 IST
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Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party instigated people to flout the ban on firecrackers on Diwali by linking it to religion.

IMAGE: Vehicles ply amid low visibility due to a thick layer of smog, a day after Diwali celebrations in New Delhi, on Friday. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

The minister said Delhi's air quality deteriorated due to a surge in farm fires and some people bursting firecrackers on purpose.

 

"A large number of people did not burst firecrackers. I thank them all. But some people burst firecrackers on purpose. I categorically say the BJP instigated them to do it," he told reporters New Delhi.

Ahead of the festive season, the Delhi government had announced a complete ban on firecrackers till January 1, 2022. It also ran an aggressive campaign against the sale and use of firecrackers.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee also said fireworks after 8 pm led to major changes in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations in Delhi on Diwali night.

'A gradual increase in the concentration of particulate matter was observed on the day of Diwali and the highest value was observed at midnight and then slowly started decreasing,' the DPCC said in a report.

Rai said Delhi breathed the cleanest October air in five years this season.

In November, too, Delhi's base pollution has remained the same. Only two factors have been added -- firecrackers and stubble burning, he said.

The minister said the number of farm fires has risen to 3,500 and its impact is visible in Delhi.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality forecast agency SAFAR, stubble burning accounted for 36 per cent of Delhi's PM2.5 concentration on Friday, the highest so far this season.

"The overall air quality of Delhi plunged to the upper end of the severe category with additional firework emissions... The share of stubble emissions has peaked today at 36 per cent," said Gufran Beig, the founder project director of SAFAR.

On Thursday, farm fires accounted for 25 per cent of Delhi's PM2.5 pollution.

Last year, the share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution had peaked at 42 per cent on November 5. In 2019, crop residue burning accounted for 44 per cent of Delhi's PM2.5 pollution on November 1.

The contribution of stubble burning to Delhi's PM2.5 concentration was 32 per cent on Diwali last year as compared to 19 per cent in 2019.

A thick layer of acrid smog hung over Delhi-NCR on Friday after residents flouted the firecracker ban and emissions from farm fires in the region peaked at 36 per cent, pushing the capital's 24-hour average air quality index for the day after Diwali to 462, the highest in five years.

In neighbouring Noida, the 24-hour AQI was 475, the highest in the country.

The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (469), Greater Noida (464), Ghaziabad (470), Gurgaon (472) also recorded 'severe' air pollution levels.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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