Delhi air quality worsens to 'hazardous' level

Cristina Cross
November 5, 2018

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data PM10 level in Delhi stood at 425.

Moreover, a decrease of 30% in stubble burning compared to a year ago and the strict pollution control actions by authorities across NCR have also helped in this improvement. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was 401, falling in the "severe" category, the highest this season, Central Pollution Control Board officials said.

The improvement in air quality can be attributed to the increase in surface wind speed to five kmph.

Following the Supreme Court's directive on phasing out 10-year-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol ones, the Delhi government on Thursday informed the court that 40 lakh old vehicles in the capital had been de-registered by the authorities.

"We are waiting for a direction from Graded Response Action Plan, after which an advisory will be issued to all government and private schools", Sanjay Goel, DoE director, said.

The absence of environment ministers from the crucial meet was questioned by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleague, who said neighbouring states should take the issue of air pollution "seriously".

An aggressive 10-day-long "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1-10 has also been launched to monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action.

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Al stone crushers, hot mix plants generating dust pollution to remain closed in the districts during the period, it said. Meanwhile, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has slammed Arvind Kejriwal's assertion that stubble burning in Punjab is leading to pollution crisis in Delhi.

In Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Greater Noida it was already "severe" by 11 a.m.

"Early morning winds picked up, which came as respite and dispersed particles rapidly and pulled back air quality towards very poor range", the official said.

"Chandni Chowk, Dwarka sub-city, Rohini, R.K. Puram, Narela and Punjabi Bagh were among the 18 regions out of 36 which reeled under 'severe" air quality with PM2.5 above 400 units.

Additionally, the court has directed the CPCB to setup a social media account where citizens would be able to lodge complaints.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee directed the transport department and the traffic police to intensify their drive against polluting vehicles until November 10.

The Trump administration is one step closer to dismantling a major federal energy policy aimed at improving air quality and lowering carbon emissions - just on the heels of a World Health Organization report highlighting the impact of air pollution on children's health.

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