The 10-day campaign was launched by the Union minister for environment, forest and climate change, Harsh Vardhan. "Although upper air winds where transport takes place are from stubble burning site but speed and magnitude is low and hence unlikely to impact Delhi air quality significantly", it added. Air quality around Gurugram and CRRI Mathura road might deteriorate severely during the next three days. Prolonged exposure to this polluted air can cause respiratory illness, according to the Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB's) air quality bulletin. So, we have made a decision to launch a 10-day aggressive Clean Air Campaign in Delhi-NCR to step up preventive action. "The moisture intrusion over Delhi and surrounding regions due to the westerlies disturbances will increase with effect from November 4 to enhanced holding capacity of atmosphere resulting in increase in PM2.5 levels", the SAFAR website said. "In case of repeat violations, criminal proceedings against defaulters will also be initiated", said the minister, soon after chairing a meeting with representatives of the governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain said that 300 water sprinklers are being used across Delhi to tap down the particle pollutants. Gurugram recorded AQI at 383, Faridabad at 397, Noida at 364, and Ghaziabad at 364.
As many as 30 private university buses were also flagged off, under the pilot project "Pariyayantra".
The government has already banned construction activities, hot-mix and open burning of domestic and industrial waste, as part of its efforts to curb pollution. These buses are equipped with an air filter system.
However, compliance reports from the inspection teams have been far from satisfactory, Vardhan regretted.
Talking about the sale of firecrackers this Diwali, the Minister said, licenses will be given to those retailers who adhere to the guidelines of the Supreme Court.
Four areas in Delhi recorded "severe" air quality while 29 areas recorded "very poor" air quality, according to the CPCB data.