City’s air quality likely to be ‘very poor’ today
The air quality in the city deteriorated to the higher end of the “poor” category on Thursday and is expected to worsen to the “very poor” level on Friday, official data showed. The effect of stubble burning has increased and is likely to further go up.
“As predicted by SAFAR, the AQI is now forecasted to degrade to the very poor category by tomorrow and likely to remain so till the next day,” government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) said in a statement.
On Thursday, the contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5, a chief pollutant, in Delhi increased to 19% and the number of active fires counts in the region was 502.
The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was 268 on Thursday, up from 232 on Wednesday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the last 24 hours and considered the day’s AQI.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.
The Delhi Government has launched ‘Paryavaran Saathi Chatbot’ to connect with the youth in the fight against air pollution, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said.
The chatbot is an initiative with the UNICEF’s YuWaah with over 10 lakh youths already connected, of whom 50,000 are from Delhi, according to the government.
“One can simply text ‘Hi’ on WhatsApp to 9650414141 to talk to the chatbot and become an active contributor to the Government’s movement against pollution. Paryavaran Saathi Chatbot is a medium to engage the youth by making them the ‘Paryavaran Saathis’. These saathis will be given points based on their participation and the top 100 will be felicitated,” Mr. Rai said.
The Delhi Government on Thursday also urged all departments to reduce use of single use plastic and issued a list of alternatives, including bamboo bottles and mugs, cloth banners, and paper and bamboo straws.