Delhi’s air quality ‘severe’ for sixth consecutive day

The air quality of Delhi and Noida continued to be in the ‘severe’ category for the sixth consecutive day and that of Gurugram for the fourth day on Tuesday, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

The newly formed Commission on Air Quality Management (CAQM), as an interim measure, has given the CPCB powers to operationalise measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on air pollution,

The GRAP is a set of emergency measures to be implemented to control air pollution depending upon the air quality. Currently, measures under ‘severe’ category of GRAP are in place, including a ban on diesel generators.

Measures under ‘severe+’ category of GRAP include stopping entry of trucks into Delhi, ban on construction, and introduction of odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, among others.

Improvement expected

The necessary conditions for imposition of severe+ measures have been met as on Tuesday evening, as per CPCB data. But a decision was yet to be taken as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow [Wednesday], the Air Quality Index is likely to improve to the lower end of ‘severe’ to higher end of ‘very poor’ category owing to a forecasted change in transport level wind direction and marginally better ventilation condition,” said monitoring agency SAFAR.

Severe air pollution level affects “healthy people” and “seriously impacts” those with existing diseases.

PM2.5 level

The level of PM2.5, a deadly pollutant, in Delhi and NCR has been above 300 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) since 7 p.m. on Sunday. Measures under ‘severe+’ category of the GRAP can be implemented when the PM2.5 level crosses 300 ug/m3 or PM10 level crosses 500 ug/m3, and persist for 48 hours or more.

The PM2.5 level in Delhi was 427.5 ug/m3 at 9 p.m. on Tuesday — seven times above the safe limit of 60 ug/m3.

The 24-hour average AQI of Delhi was 476 on Tuesday. The values for Gurugram and Noida were 427 and 455 respectively.

The number of farm fires in Haryana, Punjab, and neighbouring regions of Delhi dipped to 2,247 on Monday. The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5 level in Delhi was estimated to be around 22% on Tuesday.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 2:38:26 PM |

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