Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Delhis air quality very poor; authorities predict improvement in coming days

In view of prevalence of ‘severe’ pollution in the national capital industrial activities in pollution hotspots of Wazirpur Mundka Narela Bawana Sahibabad and Faridabad and construction work across Delhi-NCR was ordered to remain shut till Wedne Severe Delhi Pollution Level Prompts 3-Day Ban On Construction Activities
Doris Mccormick | 27 December, 2018, 11:57

With pollution reaching severe levels, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the Centre should call a meeting of Delhi's neighbouring states to discuss the issue as air doesn't follow a boundary and only one state can not check it.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index value in Delhi-NCR on Tuesday was at 408 with major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 266 and 405, respectively, on an average.

The air quality remained in the "severe" on Tuesday as meteorological conditions did not favour the dispersion of pollutants.

Vertical mixing in the room that is available for pollutants to disperse. We sanctioned one of largest metro phases yesterday.

"The ventilation index which allows dispersion (of pollutants) is extremely poor and it is expected that these conditions will prevail for the next two days", EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said in a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.

On December 24, 32 areas in the city recorded "severe" air quality while it was "very poor" in five areas, the CPCB data showed.

In NCR, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded "severe" pollution levels while Gurgaon recorded "very poor" air quality, CPCB data showed. "The pollution level continues to be unsafe for the third day but Mr. Kejriwal has not awakened. he has not paid heed to the Delhi BJP's demand to call an All Party Meeting [to discuss] the issue", said Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.

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Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain convened a high-level meeting to review the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), a strategy mandated by the Supreme Court to combat and mitigate air pollution in Delhi, and warned of strict action against officials failing to comply with directives.

The overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) was recorded at 220 and the PM10 level at 341 here, the CPCB said. "SAFAR forecasting model predicts a faster improvement due to faster dispersion and deposition owing to a shorter lifetime of particles near the surface".

The "severe" to "emergency" ratings mean that the air is not only hazardous for citizens with existing respiratory problems but can also seriously affect healthy people.

The low temperatures and high moisture level contributed to keeping pollution levels high on Tuesday.

Urging the public to join hands with the government in reducing the formation of toxic air, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal said "If the need arises, we will soon implement the odd-even scheme in the capital".

In a health advisory, SAFAR asked Delhiites not to rely on common dust masks for protection.

The agencies concerned were also asked to increase surveillance on industrial waste dumping and burning, especially in the hotspots.

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