NEW DELHI: Weather conditions have helped Delhi escape the polluting consequences of the widespread use of banned firecrackers in Diwali, with the city having its cleanest day since Diwali since the CPCB began measuring the AQI of the capital in 2015.
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On Tuesday, Delhi’s 24-hour AQI was 303, in a “very poor” area, but slightly better than the previous day’s 312 reading. In terms of AQI, this was a 30% reduction from the day after Diwali in 2021.


Experts attributed the improvement to weather conditions, particularly the effect of Cyclone Sitrang which swept through Bangladesh on Monday and warmer temperatures due to Diwali’s arrival relatively earlier this year.
Visibility of 4 km ‘rare’ the day after Diwali
Weather conditions came to the aid of Delhi residents after a cracker-filled Diwali, with dry westerly winds at speeds of 4-10km / h on Monday night and 8-16km / h on Tuesday, helping to drain pollutants from the region . Daytime visibility was recorded at 3,000-4,000 meters, and Met officials said such visibility the day after Diwali was “rare”.
Wind speeds even helped improve AQI even further as real-time AQI hit the “poor” category at 7pm on Tuesday with a reading of 298 on the index.
A report prepared by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on the assessment of air quality during Diwali said: “The overall observed percentage reduction in the city’s average PM10 concentration is 57% and PM2.5 is 64% in 2022 compared to 2021. Overall ambient air quality was better than in last year”.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said Delhi’s air-burned stubble share was 10% on Monday and 5-6% on Tuesday. As the wind direction shifted to the west on Tuesday, the impact of the fires on the farms was low. The DPCC in its report said: “The temperature was also one of the significant factors this year. Even the lower outbreak of firecrackers in the year 2022 could be an important reason compared to the year 2021”.
CPCB data shows that AQI on Sunday (pre-Diwali) was 262 in the “poor” category, which worsened to 312 in the “very poor” category on Diwali day. Prior to Diwali, the last time Delhi reported a “very poor” air day was June 10, with an AQI of 303.
Conversely, 2021 saw AQI deteriorate from 382 on Diwali day to 462 in the next day’s “severe” category. In 2020, the air quality remained in the “severe” category on both Diwali and the next day.
Anumita Roychowdhury, Research and Advocacy Executive Director, Center for Science and Environment, said: “As expected, the combination of warmer weather, favorable weather conditions with higher wind speed, less stubble burning created a favorable atmosphere and prevented the entrapment of smoke and pollutants. ”
However, experts stressed the need to reduce the use of firecrackers. Aarti Khosla, director of Climate Trends said: “It’s good news from Delhi with significantly lower pollution levels. The cracker ban went up in smoke, but it was the combination of factors that led to this air quality. apparently improved that we have not seen in past years. Levels, however, have remained above safe limits. If we citizens reduce the use of firecrackers, we are not only part of the solution, but also part of leaving a legacy of civilization “.
Welcoming the lower level of pollution observed in this Diwali, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Delhi residents 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 ยป.

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