Delhi’s pollution levels rise again

Air Quality Index back in the ‘severe’ zone; rail traffic hit, schools to reopen.

November 12, 2017 10:10 pm | Updated 10:31 pm IST

 An aircraft flies past Qutub Minar covered in haze on Sunday.

An aircraft flies past Qutub Minar covered in haze on Sunday.

Pollution levels in the national capital rose again on Sunday after a slight dip on Saturday, with visibility falling to below 100 meters at several places in the morning.

Figures released at 4 p.m. on Sunday by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)showthe average of 15 monitoring stations over the past 24 hours had a score of 460 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), which falls in the ‘severe’ category.

The same figure on Saturday was 403. The CPCB’s AQI scores for Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon were at 492, 498 and 460 respectively, which is also in the ‘severe’ zone.

The PM2.5 and PM10 reading of SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) was also in the severe category. At 8 p.m., levels of PM10 and PM2.5 were at 638 and 622 at Lodhi Road, with the November 13 forecast at the same station showing a slight improvement.

However, schools in Delhi will open on November 13, despite the absence of any improvement in the pollution levels. A decision will also be taken on the ‘odd-even’ car scheme, which was deferred by the Delhi government after the National Green Tribunal ordered the withdrawal of exemptions given to women and two-wheelers under the scheme. The government is expected to move the NGT requesting a review of its order and has said that if the exemptions are granted, it would consider the implementation of the scheme.

Due to low visibility, rail traffic towards and from Delhi was hit, with 34 trains running late, 21 rescheduled, and eight trains cancelled. The weatherman has also put out a fog warning for November 13, with dense to very dense fog likely over the capital. The Meteorological Department has forecast winds from the north and north-west, which are expected to blow away the fog and rain forecast for November 14 and November 15, and provide temporary relief from the smog.

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