New Delhi: Incidents of bursting of firecrackers on Diwali in Delhi dropped by 30 per cent this year as compared to last year and the city recorded its best air quality for the day after the festival in five years, Environment Minister Gopal Rai claimed without quoting any source on Tuesday.
The air quality index (AQI) stood at 323 on Tuesday (the day after Diwali) as compared to 462 last year, he said.
"People of Delhi were very thoughtful on Diwali this year and I want to thank them. Today, the pollution level is the lowest in five years," Rai told reporters on the sidelines of an event where he launched 150 mobile anti-smog guns.
He said the anti-smog guns will be deployed at 40 spots across the capital where air pollution is high.
The minister said incidents of bursting of firecrackers came down by 30 per cent on Diwali this year.
"The AQI of 323 is still worrying and tells us that air pollution will increase in the coming days," he said.
Rai further claimed the Punjab government controlled stubble burning in the state without support from the Centre.
However, NewsDrum on Tuesday reported that the delay in harvesting due to untimely rainfall in the last week of September and the second week of October prolonged the crop residue season in the region.
"Punjab reported 1,019 incidents of stubble burning on Diwali day (Monday) as compared to 3,032 on Diwali last year.
"On the other hand, farm fires have increased in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh," he said.