Air quality plummets in Delhi; stricter curbs on hold for now

Published - January 27, 2024 01:04 am IST - New Delhi

A vehicle driving down Kartavya Path amid a thick layer of fog in New Delhi on Friday.

A vehicle driving down Kartavya Path amid a thick layer of fog in New Delhi on Friday. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

Low temperature, foggy conditions, and local sources of pollutants caused the air quality in the city to plummet on Friday, said the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

However, it added that it will observe the situation till Saturday to decide whether to impose restrictions under Stage 3 of the pollution action plan.

According to the daily bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 409, i.e. in the ‘severe’ category, as of 4 p.m. against 332 (‘very poor’) a day earlier.

“The air quality is likely to be in the very poor category from 27.01.2024 to 29.01.2024. The outlook for subsequent six Days: The air quality is likely to remain in the very poor to poor category,” said the Central government’s Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi.

In a statement, the CAQM said, “As per the assessment of IMD/IITM, the dispersion of air pollutants has been low because of [a] dip in temperature, foggy conditions, and local sources due to which a spurt in the average AQI of Delhi has been witnessed today. The Sub-Committee, however, while comprehensively reviewing the air quality scenario and relevant aspects noted that as per the air quality forecasts by IMD/ IITM, Delhi’s average AQI is likely to improve from today itself and is expected to be in ‘Very Poor’ category in the coming days. Therefore, it was decided by the Sub-committee to monitor the situation further before considering invocation of stringent actions under Stage 3 of GRAP.”

The commission also said it will observe the situation before imposing Stage 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan, which includes bans on construction and demolition activities along with plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheeler vehicles in Delhi and NCR, among other measures.

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