New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The air quality in Delhi deteriorated in several parts of the city on Friday evening following the festivities of Diwali and with a rise in stubble burning in neighbouring states. As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of the Centre, Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) for the day after Diwali is 462, the highest in five years.

It also said that the AQI plunged to 467 in Delhi's Anand Vihar while it stood at 471 in Ashok Vihar. In Aya Nagar, the AQI was at 456 on Friday evening while it was 443 in Chandni Chowk. In Dwarka Sector-8, IGI Airport, Lodhi Road, Najafgarh, RK Puram and Rohini, the AQI deteriorated to 464, 450, 467, 458, 432 and 474 respectively.

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'.

Though the AQI has deteriorated significantely in the national capital, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the situation will likely improve soon as the wind speed in Delhi is expected to pick up by Saturday.

"Overall air quality in 'severe' category today after bursting for firecrackers on Diwali and presence of bio-mass pollutants in Delhi. The air quality and fog condition to improve once wind speed picks up. No wind and high moisture are causing fog conditions," news agency ANI quoted IMD deputy general manager (DGM) RK Jenamani as saying.

AAP, BJP engage in war of words

While the AQI in Delhi has plunged to the 'severe' category, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) found themselves engaged in a war of words after state Environment Minister Gopal Rai blamed the saffron party for the defying of cracker ban by people. "A large number of people did not burst firecrackers. I thank them all. But some people burst firecrackers on purpose. The BJP made them do it," Rai said while speaking to reporters.

However, the BJP was quick to hit out at Rai with party leader Naveen Kumar Jindal saying that Diwali is a festival of Hindus and not of a political party and asked if the Hindus who are with the AAP are not allowed to celebrate their festival.

"Gopal Rai cried the same melody of Arvind Kejriwal. They always cry that BJP forced people to burn firecrackers that led to an increase in air pollution. But they do not know that Deepawali is a festival of Hindus and not of any political party. It means that AAP Hindus can't even make their own festival," he said in a Tweet in Hindi.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma