Delhi air pollution: Decision on artificial rain, implementation of odd-even after 2-3 days, says Minister Gopal Rai

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday said the pollution situation in the city is being monitored closely by the government and decision regarding artificial rain as well as implementation of odd-even rule will be made over the next two to three days.


“We will reach this decision (artificial rain and the implementation of odd-even) after observing the situation for the next two to three days. If the pollution escalates to the ‘Severe’ plus category, measure will be implemented to mitigate it,” Rai told news agency Desk.

His comments come at a time when several places in Delhi are witnessing ‘severe’ air quality amid unfavourable meteorological conditions.

The national capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 392 at 8 am. Air pollution levels entered the severe category (AQI above 400) at many places within the city, including ITO (427), RK Puram (422), Punjabi Bagh (432), IGI Airport (404), Dwarka (416), Patparganj (417), Sonia Vihar (413), Rohini (421), Nehru Nagar (434) and Anand Vihar (430).

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’, 401 and 450 ‘severe’ and above 450 ‘severe plus’.

Delhi was the most polluted city in the world on Tuesday, followed by Dhaka, Lahore and Mumbai, according to IQAir, a Swiss company that specialises in air quality monitoring.

On the day of Diwali, the national capital had recorded its best air quality, with its 24-hour average AQI settling at 218 at 4 pm.

However, the bursting of firecrackers till late Sunday night led to a spike in pollution levels amid low temperatures.

“It’s evident that the spike in pollution levels post Diwali is due to two factors — firecracker bursting and farm fires — with fireworks being the predominant reason in this case,” an official of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body responsible for formulation of strategies to reduce pollution in Delhi-NCR, told PTI.

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