09:23 Delhi plunges into thick smog as many skirt SC firecracker guidelines:
A thick haze engulfed the national capital on Thursday morning with the air quality deteriorating to the “dangerous” category as Delhiites ignored firecrackers guidelines set by the Supreme Court, the authorities said.
According to NDTV, the morning after Diwali, Anand Vihar was among the areas in Delhi where the air quality index was recorded at an alarming 999.
The AQI around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium touched 999 (the maximum level for the monitors) while the United States Embassy in Chanakyapuri scored 459, all under the “hazardous” category.
The overall Air Quality Index was recorded at 302 at 11 pm, which fell in the very poor category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on Diwali and other festivals. It had also allowed manufacture and sale of only “green crackers”, which have a low light and sound emission and less harmful chemicals.
The court had asked the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and said in case of any violation, the station house officer of the police station concerned would be held personally liable and it would amount to committing contempt of the court.
08:54 Diwali a special opportunity to reflect on India-US friendship: Trump:
Greeting people on the occasion of Diwali, United States President Donald Trump said the festival of lights is a special opportunity to reflect on the bond of friendship between India and the United States.
Trump said First Lady Melania joins him in sending their best wishes for a very happy and memorable Diwali.
He also recognised the “extraordinary” contributions of Indian-Americans in the development of the United States.
“Diwali is a special opportunity to reflect on the bond of friendship between the United States and India,” Trump said in a special Diwali message issued on Wednesday.
“We recognise the extraordinary contributions of Indian-Americans to the strength and success of our nation. Their achievements in business and industry, public service, education, scientific research, and other fields continue to represent the very best of our American virtues and the spirit of the Diwali season,” he said.
Asserting that Diwali is a joyous and spiritual time marked by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, Trump said lighting of lamps on the occasion symbolises the true meaning of Diwali, which is triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
Republican National Committee chairperson Ronna McDaniel also greeted people celebrating Diwali.
“We wish you and your family and friends a meaningful celebration of the victory of light over darkness. We at the RNC will continue to honour the traditions of diverse communities that enrich and strengthen our country,” she said. — PTI