Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday expressed concern over increasing air pollution in the city requesting people in an advertisement released to newspapers to avoid crackers this Diwali. In the advertisement, Kejriwal urged people not to convert the "festival of lights into a festival of smoke".
"On this occasion of happiness, I want to make an appeal. Our Delhi is struggling with an acute problem of air pollution, which assumes dangerous proportions on Diwali due to bursting of fireworks and crackers," said the Chief Minister.
Taking note of the adverse effects of smoke emanating from firecrackers on children and the elderly, Kejriwal made an appeal to the people to refrain from bursting crackers. "Days ahead of Diwali, the capital’s air quality today hit a new low with particulate matters and the level of Benzene going several times higher than the permissible limits," mentioned Kejriwal in his message.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Environment Minister Imran Hussain wrote to the members of the Delhi Assembly urging them to raise awareness against bursting crackers among the public. Officials from the System of Air Quality and weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) centre also observed that bursting of firecrackers during Diwali will shoot up the level of pollution. Fireworks cause acute air pollution, raising the concentration of suspended particulate matter and the quantity of Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen dioxide that can cause asthma, bronchitis, chronic respiratory symptoms and premature deaths.