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Delhi’s air quality ‘Severe,’ city shrouded in haze

Air quality in parts of the national capital continued in ‘Severe’ category on Tuesday morning as the city woke up once again to smog that limited visibility. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 9 am today in Delhi was at 361, which is considered ‘Severe’. […]

Air quality in parts of the national capital continued in ‘Severe’ category on Tuesday morning as the city woke up once again to smog that limited visibility. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 9 am today in Delhi was at 361, which is considered ‘Severe’.

At 6 am the AQI recorded at RK Puram was 417, Punjabi Bagh (410) ITO (430) Jahangirpuri (428), Anand Vihar (355), Ashok Vihar (355), IGI Airport T3 (426) and Rohini (417). The effects of the recent rain in the national capital wore off on Monday when the city recorded an AQI of 358 at 4 pm (an average of the past 24 hours), which falls under ‘Very Poor’ category after Diwali Sunday night. The air quality soon dropped to ‘Severe’ category later in the afternoon, after which a haze engulfed the city making the visibility short.

Meanwhile, Noida witnessed similar air quality, with most areas falling under the ‘Very Poor’ category. Despite the Supreme Court’s ban on firecrackers to mitigate pollution, people in several parts of the national capital flouted the ban by bursting fireworks.

Earlier on Monday, Environment Minister Gopal Rai chaired a meeting with the officers of the Environment Department at the Delhi Secretariat and announced that the anti-pollution measures under GRAP IV regulations will remain enforced in Delhi until the next order of Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

“All trucks, except those carrying essential goods and connected to essential services and CNG and electric trucks, will not be allowed to enter Delhi,” Rai added.’ The Environment Minister also spoke about the bursting of firecrackers in Delhi on Diwali and said, “There is a ban on production, storage and sale of firecrackers in Delhi. The firecrackers were brought to Delhi from UP and Haryana. The police of Delhi, Haryana and UP are under the control of BJP and no common man can easily supply the firecrackers amid the monitoring of these three police forces. Some specific people have done this.”

“After the rain in Delhi, NCR for the last three days, the pollution level in Delhi had come down to 215-220. But since there have been incidents of burning firecrackers in a targeted manner in Delhi, UP and Haryana, today the pollution level has reached 320. I, however, appreciate all those people in Delhi who understood their responsibility and did not burn firecrackers as per the order of the Supreme Court. BJP leaders have kept instigating people to burn firecrackers, as a result of which the pollution level has increased so much,” he added.

The Environment Minister also informed that the anti-dust campaign has been extended for fifteen more days. Gopal Rai further stated that 375 water sprinklers will be used as part of the water sprinkling campaign since the effect of rain has now subsided in the national capital.

Rai also hinted at the implementation of the odd-even scheme and said, “Today DPCC has been directed to hold a meeting with construction agencies to ensure dust control measures. Many people have questions in their minds regarding odd-even. It was decided in the meeting today that if Delhi’s air reaches the Severe Plus category (450), then the government will review and take a decision by implementing odd-even.”

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