The air quality level post Diwali this year seems much better than what it was after the festival in 2018, Delhi Environment Minister Kailash Gahlot said on Monday.
Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of an event in the national capital, he said people are also telling that less crackers have been used this time compared to last year.
“The air quality on the morning after Diwali this year is comparatively better than that of last year. I am not saying this as an environment minister, but every person I am meeting is saying that the air quality is much better this time,” Gahlot said.
He thanked the people of Delhi for using less crackers while celebrating the festival of lights on Sunday.
The national capital’s air quality dropped to the season’s worst on the morning after Diwali, but the situation was still better than the last three years, according to government agencies.
After last year’s Diwali, Delhi’s AQI had crossed the 600-mark, which is 12 times the safe limit. The AQI post-Diwali was 367 in 2017 and 425 in 2016.
“There are no two opinions that less crackers were used compared to what was used in last Diwali. There are certain external factors like stubble burning but we are taking all steps to keep pollution in check,” the environment minister told reporters.
Asked if the cracker bursting norms were properly enforced, the minister said enforcement is one thing but behavioural change is another.
“I hope next Diwali people will show even greater sensitivity towards environment while celebrating the festival,” he said.
The ministry’s team is regularly inspecting and marshals are also looking for any violations, he said.
“All efforts are being made to keep the AQI level within the normal parameters,” he said, adding the Delhi government will release data on pollution level in the city by evening.