Delhi's air quality remains 'severe' for 4th day

Cesar Mills
December 27, 2018

With Delhi's air quality remaining in the "severe" category for the last four days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government may reintroduce the "odd-even" auto rationing scheme if the need arises.

Industries located in Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad and Faridabad will remain closed until Wednesday, EPCA Chairperson Bhure Lal said in a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.

In some parts of Delhi, pollution levels hit 654 on Monday, among the worst recorded this year, and visibility in some parts of the city was just 200 metres, the weather department said.

According to state-run SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), the overall air quality in the national capital will remain "severe" till Tuesday due to unusually stagnant and cold air.

Delhi's overall air quality index on Monday was recorded at 434, which falls in the "severe" category, a drastic decline from Sunday's "moderate" level at 171.

"This is a temporary phase, largely because of meteorological conditions over Delhi and the surrounding areas".

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

Delhi's air quality had turned "severe" on Saturday.

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According to the SAFAR, the overall air quality in Delhi is expected to remain in the "severe" range till Tuesday.

The AQI recorded 217 with PM (particulate matter) 2.5 at 557 and PM (particular matter) 10 at 747.

A Delhi government official blamed the pollution for lighter-than-usual traffic on already holiday-thinned streets, while a Delhi airport official said some domestic and worldwide flights were delayed for up to two hours due to poor visibility.

In a health advisory, SAFAR has asked citizens of Delhi not to rely on common dust masks for protection.

According to experts, when the air pollution is "severe", even healthy people find it hard to breathe and doctors advise physical activity to be kept at a minimum.

Officials attributed the sudden deterioration in the air quality to a change in wind direction, which is now blowing from the northwestern region towards Delhi and bringing dust and smoke from stubble burning in neighbouring states with it.

In NCR, Ghaziabad recorded severe air quality while Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida recorded very poor air quality. The index was 5500 sqm/second Wednesday, the IITM said.

"The situation might improve slightly but is likely to continue in severe category until afternoon of December 26, when wind speeds will pick up and improve dispersion of pollutants", said a task force headed by the CPCB. "Until the centre takes steps, nothing can not be done", Kejriwal said.

Other reports by GizPress

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