Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Delhi wakes up to thick smog ahead of Diwali

Delhi air pollution,air emergency in Delhi,air pollution 'Hazardous' air pollution in India's capital prompts emergency measures
Grady Vargas | 08 November, 2018, 01:12

The authority has also urged people to use more public vehicles, claiming that around 40% of the air pollution is caused by vehicular emissions.

An official of the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research said intensified stubble burning is contributing almost 24 per cent of the air pollution in Delhi.

On Tuesday, Delhi's air quality slipped to severe category, prompting authorities to issue a slew of directions including ban on construction activities along with halting operations of industries using coal and biomass as fuel between November 1 and 10. The Air Quality Index (AQI) around Mandir Marg recorded PM 10 levels at 707 and PM 2.5 at 663.

An official with the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said despite moderate wind speed, the pollution in Delhi rose due to stubble burning from the neighbouring states.

After a little improvement yesterday when wind picked up, air quality worsened early on Monday, with forecasts of worse to come over the next few days.

Winds coming from North-westerly direction is bringing influence of biomass burning pollutants in Delhi-NCR which may continue up to Wednesday morning, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said.

"The highest levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 11pm and 3am on the night of 7-8 November". This exercise is a part of emergency measures to control pollution from Thursday in Delhi NCR.

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Delhi may also see pollution response measure under "severe-plus" category that include parking fee hike, odd-even vehicle rationing scheme and ban on entry of trucks into Delhi.

Despite the Supreme Courts directives, people in Delhi-NCR on Wednesday continued to burst crackers on Diwali well past the 10 p.m. deadline though the air quality index (AQI) showed a slight improvement over a year ago.

The sale of air purifiers had surged 40 percent from previous year because of increasing public awareness about the effects of pollution on health, company and industry officials said.

Shamika Ravi, a members of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, tweeted today: 'Haven't heard a single firecracker in Delhi, yet the air purifiers are blazing red - showing unsafe levels of pollution.

At Dhirpur, the AQI was 328 at 8:30 am, while in Mathura Road area it dipped to "very poor" category at 375.

Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the season Monday, when pollution levels reached eight times the permissable limit while a thick haze had engulfed the city.

The top court is seized of matters in which several issues related to air pollution in the Delhi-NCR have been raised. An unidentified official of the pollution board said the recommendation was made as such vehicles cause heavy pollution, which could lead to a further decline in air quality.

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