Delhi recorded its worst day in terms of air quality this season as the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 401 at 3 pm on Tuesday, Central Pollution Control Board officials informed PTI.
Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), an agency working under the central government, stated that the deterioration of air quality in Delhi is primarily due to heavy stubble burning in the last 24 hours, accompanied by calm winds that is worsening the situation.
About 28 per cent of pollution by PM2.5 (presence of particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) on Tuesday was caused due to regional factors like stubble burning, SAFAR officials were quoted as saying by PTI.
PTI reported that Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) detected a large number of biomass fire spots through satellite imageries in Punjab and Haryana. The fire spots are attributed to incidents of stubble burning by farmers in the neighbouring states.
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’.
Meanwhile, the issue of stubble burning and air pollution in Delhi took a political turn on Monday as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal blamed the BJP-led central and Haryana government and Congress-led Punjab government for the worsening air quality in Delhi.
“The pollution was in control in Delhi throughout the year, but this time (winters) every year, Delhi has to face severe pollution condition due to the Centre, BJP-led Haryana and Congress-led Punjab governments,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Despite our all-out efforts, they are not ready to do anything. Farmers of these two states are also fed up with their governments,” Kejriwal tweeted.