Delhi chokes on ‘very poor’ air for 4th day — CAPITAL GASPS

Cesar Mills
October 29, 2018

The Indian capital's air quality has plummeted to the worst possible category, very severe, on Friday, with locals and visitors being advised to wear dust masks. The Air Quality Index (AQI) clocked 381 - the season's worst till now. The "very-poor" AQI affects healty people on prolonged exposure. Generally, the first week of November is the time of smog in Delhi, when the air quality reaches beyond severe. "It's best to stay indoors for the next 10 days", an official told the media.

As the average air quality in the national capital region (NCR) inched towards severe levels, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that the government has made a decision to initiate criminal prosecution against agencies which do not comply with the directives to check air pollution. It is also due to stagnation conditions forced by calm winds with low ventilation.

The most recent air pollution data from the World Health Organisation released in March said India was one of the world's 10 most polluted countries.

The court earlier this week ordered that firecrackers could be burst between 20:00 and 22:00 on the festival night on November 7 and could not be sold online.

The public has been asked avoid outdoor strenuous activities.

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Delhi's air quality continues to remain "very poor" for the fourth consecutive day Saturday, prompting the Central Pollution Control Board and the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research to issue separate advisories for people. Anand Vihar's problem is mainly because of construction dust, trucks, private carriages and bus traffic. "So, that might affect the quality", an environmental expert said.

"Its contribution to the pollution load has been scientifically and legally recognised".

New Delhi's average air pollution level (PM2.5 score) was a whopping 187, far from London's rush hour measure of 27, and Birmingham's rush-hour measure of just 15.

In a meeting with representatives from Environment Ministry, IMD, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Haryana Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Board Friday, the task force apprised the members on the levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR showing an upward trend. Several lakh tonnes of stones, cement and sand land in Delhi from neighbouring states, overnight by trucks for its mounting infrastructure needs.

The PM2.5, also called "fine particulates", can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10. "1,515 units is too high a concentration", an official from Haryana SPCB said.

Other reports by GizPress

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