NEW DELHI: Bursting of firecrackers is not a matter of religion, but it affects the lives of people, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference here, Rai alleged that some people from Opposition parties were trying to sabotage the Delhi government's fight against pollution by linking firecracker bursting to religion.
"Bursting of firecrackers is not a matter of religion but lives of people. Some people want to fulfil their political ambitions." I appeal to them with folded hands to not play with the lives of Delhi's children and elderly. There are many other issues for politics. Please let people breathe," he said. "Diwali means diyas, not firecrackers," Rai added. The minister said that Delhi's air quality a day before Diwali this time was the best in five years.
The national capital recorded an average air quality index (AQI) of 173 in October, the lowest in the month in five years, he said. The month of October saw an average AQI of 265 in 2020, 234 in 2019, 269 in 2018 and 284 in 2017, the minister added.
"Favourable weather conditions and people's support to the government's anti-pollution campaign are reasons for the best October air quality in five years," Rai said.