Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of provoking people to burst firecrackers following the sudden increase in the air pollution levels recorded post Diwali in the national capital.
Briefing mediapersons after the pollution review meeting held here, Rai claimed, “It has been noticed that firecrackers were burst in a targeted manner in some parts of the city because some BJP leaders provoked the people to do so.”
“The Air Quality Indexslightly improved after rain in Delhi. It was at 215-220 marks at day time of Diwali, but touched 315-320 in the night due to firecrackers bursting at several areas in Delhi, UP and Haryana,” claimed Rai.
A day after the Diwali festival, Rai called a meeting with the department officers concerned at the Delhi Secretariat to review the pollution situation in Delhi. “The firecrackers were burst in Delhi during Diwali celebration despite there being a ban on production, storage and sale of crackers.
The firecrackers were brought from neighbouring states Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. If these states would have followed the rules strictly then people would not get crackers easily,” alleged the Minister.
To combat air pollution, Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP IV) regulations will remain enforced until the next order. As per the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) order under GRAP-IV, the ban on petrol vehicles with BS 3 engines and diesel vehicles with BS 4 engines and all types of trucks (excluding essential goods and services, CNG and electric trucks) will remain in the national capital.