The Delhi government deployed 114 water tankers to sprinkle water on roads to settle dust, after the air quality deteriorated drastically following the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali. 114 water tankers were deployed to sprinkle water on roads to settle dust, one of the major contributors to air pollution.
Gopal Rai, Environment Minister, said they are running the campaign to check the local source of air pollution in the city – be it dust, vehicle or biomass pollution. He added that on Diwali, instances of crop residue burning in Punjab and Haryana along with bursting of firecrackers in the city added to air pollution.
Earlier in the day, wind speeds picked up in the national capital and weather experts said this is expected to clear out pollutants in the air over the next two days. According to Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Sameer app, the city’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 449 in the severe category at 8am on Saturday. It was 462 on Friday.
It should be noted that an AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51-100 “satisfactory”; 101-200 “moderate”; 201-300 “poor”; 301-400 “very poor”; and 401-500 “severe”. With people bursting crackers and with more stubble burning in neighboring states, the air quality in Delhi was the poorest in five years post the festival.
On Thursday night, the city’s AQI slipped to the severe category and continued its upward trend to reach 462 at noon on Friday. The 24-hour average air AQI the day after Diwali was 435 last year, 368 in 2019; 390 in 2018; 403 in 2017; and 445 in 2016. The AQI was 382 on Diwali day this year, 414 in 2020; 337 in 2019; 281 in 2018; 319 in 2017; and 431 in 2016.
Furthermore, Delhi witnessed a cold morning on Saturday as the minimum temperature in the city was recorded at 14.7 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the season.