Smog Covers Delhi Skies As Air Quality Remains Poor Before Diwali, Could Worsen In Coming Days

Delhi woke up to smoggy skies on Saturday as the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital deteriorated to the “poor” category ahead of Diwali.

The overall AQI for Delhi on Saturday morning was 262, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).


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.

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AQI to worsen further

The air quality is likely to worsen further in the coming days.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had said that Delhi-NCR’s AQI is likely to be 300 plus on October 22.

The CAQM in its tweet said that air quality will move towards “Very Poor” and further actions under Stage I will be intensified.


“All actions as envisaged under Stage II of the GRAP – ‘Very POOR’ Air Quality to be implemented in the right earnest and further actions under Stage I to be intensified by all the agencies concerned,” read the tweet from CAQM.

A combination of events, including the bursting of firecrackers, stubble burning in neighbouring states, industrial and vehicular emissions, and climatic conditions, is blamed for the worsening air quality in Delhi during this time of the year.

Delhi govt. launches pollution-free Diwali campaign 

On Friday, the Delhi government lit 51,000 diyas at Central Park in Connaught Place here to mark the launch of its campaign for a pollution-free Diwali.

The The Delhi government in September re-imposed a complete ban on the production, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1,

a practise it has been following for the past two years.


Bursting firecrackers on Diwali in Delhi will attract a jail term of up to six months and a fine of Rs 200, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday.

Delhi, like many other states, has imposed restrictions on the production and sale of firecrackers.

Production, storage and sale of firecrackers in the national capital will be punishable with a fine of up to Rs 5,000 and three years in jail under Section 9B of the Explosives Act.

Most of Delhi still wants to burst firecrackers

Despite this, the awareness campaigns and the well-documented link with the spike in air quality, two out of every five families are likely to burst firecrackers this Diwali.


Ten per cent of the respondents said they have already bought firecrackers from shops in Delhi, while 20 per cent said they have purchased firecrackers from other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), indicating that the ban on the sale of such items is not as effective as it needs to be, according to the survey conducted by LocalCircles.

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