Delhi

Delhi’s air quality remains ‘severe’

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The level of deadly respirable pollutants was six times the safe limit

The air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘severe’ category on Monday, posing a health risk to more than 20 million people living in the city.

A slight improvement to the ‘very poor’ category is expected on Tuesday, with conditions expected to further improve from November 8, according to the government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research).

The level of PM 2.5 — the deadly respirable particles which are the chief pollutant — was over six times (368.6 ug/m3) the safe limit (60ug/m3) in Delhi and NCR at 6.30 p.m. on Monday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). On Sunday, PM2.5 was more than 10 times the safe limit in Delhi-NCR, the highest level (625.1 ug/m3) this season.

‘Severe’ air quality could cause respiratory problems to healthy people and serious health impacts on people with lung or heart diseases, according to a Supreme Court-appointed pollution control body.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi slightly improved on Monday, chiefly due to high wind speed and settled at 407 , compared to 494 on Sunday, according to the 4 p.m. bulletin by the CPCB, which is the average of the past 24 hours.

On Monday, the share of stubble burning in neighbouring states to Delhi’s pollution was 14%, down from 25% on Sunday, as per SAFAR.

“High surface and boundary layer wind are expected for tomorrow also this will improve air quality to very poor level by tomorrow morning. A fresh western disturbance is approaching north India and scattered rainfall and change in wind direction is expecting by 8th November in Delhi region likely to positively influence AQI,” SAFAR said.

Cricketers move out

Reacting to the air pollution in north India, cricketer Harbhajan Singh said in a video shared on Twitter, “North Indian air has become polluted and we all are responsible for it. I have been hearing it for the past many years that due to stubble burning air and water becomes polluted... And the life span will be reduced by 7-10 years if we live like this. So we have to act.”

He said that Chief Ministers of the three states should meet the Prime Minister to find a solution and everyone should contribute in any small way possible.

Cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra have already moved out of Delhi due to the air pollution and many others are thinking about moving out of Delhi to protect their families

The AQI of Delhi was 370 ‘very poor’ at 8.30 p.m. on Monday, according to CPCB.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution(Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) on Monday extended a ban on coal-based industries, hot mix plants, and stone crushers in NCR.

“All coal and other fuel based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue (with exemption to power-plants) to remain closed in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Sonepat, Panipat,Bahadurgarh and Bhiwadi till morning of November 8, 2019. In Delhi industries, which have not yet shifted to PNG to remain closed during till morning of November 8, 2019,” an order by EPCA Chariman Bhure Lal said.

Mr. Lal also said that urgent steps should be taken to control local sources of pollution such as garbage burning to construction dust and dumping of waste and road dust.

“The air quality remained in the severe+ zone over the past few days, exacerbated by the extremely adverse weather conditions — light rain on the night on 2nd and then again on 3rd added to the moisture levels, which trapped the pollutants leading to severe stress and extremely hazardous conditions for people,” EPCA said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 6:44:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhis-air-quality-remains-severe/article29881818.ece

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