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

Cristina Cross
October 29, 2018

New Delhi's average air quality is nearly seven times worsethan in London during rush hour.

While the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 366 on a scale of 0 to 500, considered "very-poor", the same was 415 in Ghaziabad and 403 in Gurugram - both signifying "severe".

The Air Quality Index showed that air quality was at the "hazardous" level in one part of Delhi and at the "unhealthy" level in other parts yesterday afternoon.

The EPCA conducted a meeting to assess how measures to control "very poor" and "severe" air pollution listed under the "Grap" or Graded Response Action Plan are being implemented.

The CPCB-led task force has recommended stringent measures from November 1 to 10, predicting further deterioration in the air quality ahead of Diwali. The stations recording the worst levels (AQI level above 400) included Mathura Road, Rohini, Mundka, Anand Vihar, Narela, Dwarka Sector 8, Bawana, Vivek Vihar and Sonia Vihar.

Some of these recommendations include shutdown of coal and biomass factories, intensification of inspection by the Transport Department to check polluting vehicles and control traffic congestion in Delhi NCR during November 1 and 10.

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A Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Authority warned on Thursday that air pollution in the capital region is likely to peak from November 1 as toxic fumes from stubble burning in agriculture farms in neighboring northern states of Haryana and Punjab could gush in because of a change in wind direction.

The PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 236, the highest of this season.

The warning comes a day after air pollution shot up on Wednesday due to unfavourable weather, including low temperatures, calm winds and cloudy skies.

This is a major contributor to particulate matter less than 10 m in size, or PM10, in the ambient air, which has raised pollution worries in recent times because it silently lodges in the respiratory system.

Meanwhile, SAFAR also gave a health advisory to public due to increasing pollution levels. It also asked people to go for shorter walks instead of jogs and wear masks while stepping outside.

SAFAR also issued a health advisory, urging people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

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