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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Thick smog layer blankets Delhi, air quality borders ‘severe’ category

Delhi’s air quality is expected to remain in the ‘very poor’ category until Friday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 29, 2020 1:32:12 pm
Delhi pollution, Delhi AQI today, delhi air quality today, Delhi-NCR pollution levels, Delhi government, Stubble burning, SAFAR, IMD, Delhi news, Indian expressThe President has given his assent to The Commission for Air Quality management in NCR and adjoining areas, 2020.

A thick layer of smog blanketed several areas of Delhi on Thursday pushing the overall air quality closer to the ‘severe’ category. The pollution levels rose sharply after a marginal reduction, primarily due to calm winds and spike in farm fires.

At 10 am, the national capital recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 392. Fourteen monitoring stations, including at Shadipur (406), Patparganj (411), Jahangirpuri (429) and Vivek Vihar (432), recorded air quality in the ‘severe’ category, according to news agency PTI.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the wind speed dipped on Wednesday which allowed accumulation of pollutants. “Following slight relief, the air quality again entered the very poor category by the evening,” PTI quoted a senior scientist at IMD as saying.

On Wednesday, the overall AQI was 297, it was 213 on Tuesday, 353 on Monday, 349 on Sunday, 345 on Saturday and 366 on Friday.  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’.

Delhi’s air quality is expected to remain in the ‘very poor’ category until Friday, as unfavourable meteorological conditions are hindering dispersion of pollutants and the contribution of stubble burning emissions to air pollution has increased, as per forecast from government agencies.

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To help combat air pollution, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a ‘Green Delhi’ mobile app on Thursday. Through the app, people will now be able to lodge complaints against waste burning, industrial pollution, dust emissions and other polluting activities.

The share of stubble burning emissions from Punjab, Haryana and UP in Delhi’s PM2.5 levels — fine particles suspended in the air — increased to an estimated 23% Tuesday. It was 18 per cent on Wednesday, according to SAFAR.

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Also in Noida, where the AQI is averaging between 410 and 450 in the ‘hazardous’ category for the last 48 hours, authorities are looking at ways to curb local sources of pollution. As per ACQIN data, PM 10 levels were recorded at 413 while PM 2.5 spiked to 215 Wednesday as against an ideal limit of 50.

On Wednesday, President Ram Nath Kovind signed an ordinance brought in by the Centre for a Commission to manage air quality in the National Capital Region. The Commission is to have exclusive jurisdiction over the NCR, including areas in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, in matters of air pollution, and will be working along with CPCB and ISRO, apart from the respective state governments.

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