Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the results of efforts made by Delhi residents to curb pollution in the city are encouraging but there is still a long way to go. His remarks came a day after Diwali when the air quality in the national capital was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category. The situation, however, was relatively better than previous years due to favourable meteorological conditions which diluted the effect of many residents flouting a firecracker ban and stubble burning.
Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 326 at 8 am. “Delhiites are working hard in the field of pollution. There have been very encouraging results but there is still a long way to go. We will make Delhi the best city in the world,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi. Emissions from firecrackers and farm fires have contributed significantly to Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution on Diwali over the years.
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Their share this year was relatively less than previous years due to reduced bursting of firecrackers and moderately warm and windier conditions which prevented rapid accumulation of pollutants.
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Delhi had recorded an AQI of 382 on Diwali last year, 414 in 2020, 337 in 2019, 281 in 2018, 319 in 2017, and 431 in 2016, according to Central Pollution Control Board data. An AQI between zero 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’.