The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research, commonly known as SAFAR, said on Monday that Delhi’s air quality is likely to deteriorate to the “severe-plus emergency” category after Diwali. Air quality will be “bad” on November 8 even if “partial toxic crackers” are used compared to last year, SAFAR said, according to PTI.
“Even if 50% of the total load of toxic fire crackers as compared to Diwali 2017 is added, the prevailing weather conditions will aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality persist in severe range for at least two days on November 8 and November 9,” the government agency said.
The Supreme Court has allowed the sale and manufacture of low emission “green” firecrackers, and said they can be burst only between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali.
The Central Pollution Control Board said that PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations touched 365 and 503 on Monday, the worst air quality of the season. Delhi’s overall air quality index on Monday was recorded at 434, in the “severe” category.
The Delhi Police has seized 3,847 kg of firecrackers from various parts of Delhi since October 23 and arrested 29 people for storing them without a licence, PTI reported on Monday. The police have also registered 29 cases based on a Supreme Court order banning the sale of old firecrackers.
The police have seized 1,045 kg firecrackers from Shahdara, 1,688 kg from West Delhi, 659 kg from North Delhi, 227 kg from East Delhi, 72 kg from Southeast Delhi, 54 kg from Northeast Delhi, 37 kg from Dwarka and 64 kg of firecrackers from Southwest Delhi so far.
Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Monday asked all agencies to remain on high alert, and do everything possible to control air pollution. The Delhi government and the Centre have launched a 10-day Clean Air Campaign from November 1 to monitor and report polluting activities. It has also banned civil construction activities in the National Capital Region.