Favourable meteorological conditions improve Delhi’s air quality

Ban on entry of trucks into the capital, plying of non-BS VI diesel-run light motor vehicles revoked

November 06, 2022 06:57 pm | Updated November 07, 2022 02:09 pm IST - New Delhi

The scene at Kartavya Path amid low visibility due to a thick layer of smog, in New Delhi on November 6, 2022.

The scene at Kartavya Path amid low visibility due to a thick layer of smog, in New Delhi on November 6, 2022. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on November 6, 2022 revoked its November 3 order, which had called for emergency measures such as a ban on entry of trucks into the national capital and plying of non-BS VI diesel-run light motor vehicles, imposed under Stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). This was carried out after air quality improved in the national capital due to favourable meteorological conditions.

The decision to shut primary schools was taken at the discretion of the Delhi Government as an emergency measure till Tuesday. The GRAP is an emergency response action plan invoked with a view to arrest further deterioration of the adverse air quality scenario in NCR

According to the forecast by the Central government-run monitoring agency SAFAR’s (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) bulletin on Sunday, the air quality in Delhi improved due to a change in wind flow from stubble burning areas, preventing the inflow of pollutants to Delhi.

After two days of “severe” air pollution, air quality in the national capital improved slightly to the upper end of the “very poor” category on Saturday, and improved further to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Sunday, as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The forecast reads “air quality is likely to improve further but remain within ‘Very Poor’ or ‘upper end of Poor’ till November 8”. Stubble emissions from neighbouring States with a fire count of 3,100 contributed 18% to the PM2.5 level — a chief pollutant — in Delhi on November 6, 2022 decreased from 21% on Saturday, down from 30% on Friday and 34% on Thursday according to SAFAR data.

“As the present Air Quality Index (AQI) level of Delhi is around 339 which is about 111 AQI points below the threshold for invoking the GRAP Stage-IV actions (Delhi AQI > 450) and preventive/ mitigative/ restrictive actions under all stages up to Stage-IV are underway, there is a likelihood of sustaining the improvement in AQI. The forecast also does not indicate any steep degradation further,” an order from the Commission for Air Quality Management read. A higher value of AQI means an increase in air pollution.

Actions under stages I to III of GRAP will, however, remain invoked and be implemented, monitored and reviewed by all agencies concerned in the entire NCR to ensure that the AQI levels do not slip further to the ‘severe’ category, the CAQM said.

The commission appealed to people to chose a cleaner commute - share a ride to work or use public transport or walk or cycle to mitigate local sources of pollution. It recommended that those people whose positions allow working from home, may work from home and not to use coal and wood for heating purpose.

It advised individual house owners to provide electric heaters (during winters) to security staff to avoid open burning and carry out multiple tasks in a single trip.

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