Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Delhi air pollution: Hours before the 'emergency'

Delhi air pollution: Hours before the 'emergency'

Air quality level in the national capital has touched the mark of "very poor" with AQI 358 (data provided by Central Pollution Control Board), which can cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

Gurgaon recorded "severe" air quality at 416, while it was "very poor" in Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

The Supreme Court has also appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which has restricted several activities like construction from November 1, urged Delhi citizens on Wednesday to use public transport for the next 10 days when the air quality is likely to deteriorate further.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

Four areas in Delhi marked "severe" air quality whereas 29 areas recorded "very poor" air quality, as per a CPCB data.

"The increase in PM2.5 concentration is due to change in wind direction, decrease in wind speeds and contribution from biomass burning", the IITM said.

The pollution monitoring agencies said that the extra load of pollutants coming from stubble burning from neighbouring states also registered a slight drop, leading to slight improvement - though still in the danger zone.

The condition is expected to prevail till Diwali, however, it may improve if no additional emission from firecracker adds to the Delhi's air, said the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

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Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday experienced the first smog of the season with air pollutants going up many folds higher than the permissible limits and the air quality falling under the "severe-plus" or "emergency" category.

A penalty of over Rs 83 lakh was imposed on violators on a single day on Sunday by the teams deployed to monitor implementation of measures to combat pollution in the Delhi NCR under the Clean Air Campaign, the CPCB said.

Shallow fog and haze during the daytime is also expected on Wednesday and Thursday.

The early onset of winter's cool and foggy weather coupled with pollution created by fireworks during Diwali and ongoing high levels of pollution have triggered this situation, experts say.

"We are supporting the project by providing salt mix for inducing artificial rains".

The pollution level in the region has been worsening even though the Delhi government has been trying to impose strict control measures.

"The protesters held placards displaying messages like "Delhi air is poisonous", "breathing is killing me", "#My Right to Breathe" and "Unbreathable India" outside the Indira Pariyavaran Bhawan here.

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