BJP activists incited residents to burn crackers, AQI rose by 100 points overnight: Gopal Rai

People associated with the BJP instigated residents to burn firecrackers on Diwali, leading to an overnight increase of over 100 points in the national capital’s air quality index, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai alleged on Monday.

At a press conference, he said the firecrackers burnt in Delhi were sourced from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and that certain individuals, including police personnel from these states, permitted the transportation of those firecrackers to the city.

“Delhi would not have been suffering had these states implemented the ban on firecrackers and their police done their duty properly,” Rai said.

He also said that stringent measures, including a ban on construction work and the entry of polluting trucks into Delhi, under Stage IV of the Centre’s air pollution control plan, will continue to be in force in Delhi till further orders.

Rai added that the Delhi government has decided to extend its campaign to control dust pollution till November 30 and launch a month-long drive against open burning of waste from November 14.

The minister said these steps have been taken based on suggestions from experts who have predicted worsening of meteorological conditions which could allow accumulation of pollutants over the next three to four days.

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