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Kejriwal distributes masks to school students, says Delhi turned into ‘gas chamber’

Since Diwali, the pollution in the national capital has been in the 'severe' category, the highest level of pollution.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 1, 2019 10:20:41 am
Delhi pollution, Delhi smog, Delhi pollution level, Delhi schools, Delhi government, Delhi government on pollution, Delhi news, city news, Indian Express On Thursday, the highest Air Quality Index (AQI) of 469 was recorded at Anand Vihar, though most areas had AQI above the 400-mark. (File Photo)

Targeting neighbouring states for the “severe” pollution levels in Delhi again, Arvind Kejriwal Friday blamed the Punjab and Haryana governments for “forcing” farmers to burn stubble. At an event in the national capital this morning, he distributed pollution masks to school children.

Delhi pollution, Delhi smog, Delhi pollution level, Delhi schools, Delhi government, Delhi government on pollution, Delhi news, city news, Indian Express Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal distributing masks to school children as pollution levels rise in the city. (ANI)

“Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighbouring states. It is very imp that we protect ourselves from this toxic air. Through pvt & govt schools, we have started distributing 50 lakh masks today. I urge all Delhiites to use them whenever needed,” he tweeted.

“Manohal Lal Khattar and Captain Amarinder Singh’s governments are forcing their farmers to burn stubble, due to which there is heavy pollution in Delhi,” he tweeted. “Yesterday, people protested at the Punjab and Haryana bhawan and expressed their anger towards the governments there.”

The AQI in Delhi hovered above the 400-mark on Friday for the fourth consecutive day. In Lodhi Road area, for instance, PM 2.5 was at 500 and PM 10 at 500. In Ghaziabad, major pollutants PM 2.5 was at 487 and PM 10 at 467.

All the 37 air quality monitoring stations across Delhi recorded the air quality in the severe category on Friday morning.

Since Diwali, the pollution in the national capital has been in the ‘severe’ category, the highest level of pollution.

On the National Air Quality Index maintained by the Central Board of Pollution Control (CPCB), an AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor” and 401-500 “severe”. Above 500 falls in the “severe-plus emergency” category.

Editorial | Confrontation between Delhi and its neighbours over pollution is unfortunate

Earlier this week, Kejriwal claimed incidents of stubble-burning had doubled from the previous year, adding that “the farmers are ready, but there is a lack of effort by the governments”.

The Punjab Chief Minister had hit back at Kejriwal, calling him “a shameless liar” for trying to divert attention from his own government’s failings ahead of the Delhi elections.

Explained

Pointing to the neighbours

The effect of farm fires on pollution in the National Capital Region has taken a political colour, with the Delhi Chief Minister saying the governments in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh aren’t doing enough to address the problem. Whether his appeals to neighbours have an impact remains to be seen.

Farm fires in Punjab peaked a day after Diwali, October 28, with 3,105 instances of paddy crop residue burning being reported from across the state in a single day. That and the fallout of firecrackers in Delhi has taken the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital to ‘severe’ levels — on Wednesday, it stood at 419.

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