Delhi air pollution: AQI at ‘upper end of Very Poor’ category

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Even though the air quality in Delhi came down to ‘very poor’ from the ‘severe’ category, still, it is touching an alarming level on Sunday morning as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city stood at 339.

The National Capital Region (NCR) witnessed bad air as Noida, which is part of the national capital region, recorded an AQI of 349, in the ‘very poor’ category, while Gurugram’s AQI stood at 304 and continued to remain in the ‘very poor category, as per data released by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) India.

Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.

The recurring problem of farm fires from the neighbouring states contributed 21 per cent to PM2.5 in Delhi, which was 34 per cent on Friday.

According to the forecast, the air quality index is likely to improve in the coming days.

“Overall AQI today indicates ‘upper end of Very Poor’ air quality. AQI is likely to improve due to unfavourable upper level (700-1000 m) wind flow from stubble burning areas preventing inflow of pollutants to Delhi. Stubble emissions with a fire count of 1761 contribute 21 per cent to PM2.5 in Delhi,” said SAFAR in a press release.

Here are the top polluted places in Delhi NCR:

Noida: 339

Delhi: 351

Mathura road: 327

Lodhi road: 318

Airport (T3): 339

Pusa: 328

Dhirpur: 381

Delhi University: 351

Ayanagar: 338

Gurugram, Haryana: 318

Meanwhile, the entry of non-essential trucks, movement of non-BS VI diesel-run light vehicles to Delhi via Noida has been banned until further notice.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Saturday appealed to the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to take measures to divert trucks carrying non-essential goods on peripheral expressways to avoid traffic jams at the capital’s borders.

According to the advisory issued by the Police Commissionerate of Gautam Buddh Nagar, the restrictions will be from Chilla Border, DND and Kalindi Kunj border. However, a diverted route for going to their destinations will be provided.

“Under the Graded Action plan, entry of all trucks except those providing essential goods or services or those running on CNG or electric power are prohibited from entering Delhi from Noida.

The entry of BS-3 (petrol) and BS-4 (diesel) light four-wheeler vehicles in Delhi from the Noida border will also be banned.

“Entry for diesel-powered medium cargo vehicles and heavy goods vehicles except those engaged in essential goods and services is prohibited,” the advisory further added.

As per the advisory, as an alternative route, all these vehicles can use the Yamuna Expressway or the Eastern Peripheral Expressway via Noida-Greater Noida Expressway to reach their destination.

“In case of traffic inconvenience, you can contact the traffic helpline number 9971009001,” it added.

The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas further ordered the implementation of GRAP-4 in Delhi-NCR.

On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann held a press conference and urged the central government to come forward and lead measures to check severe smog in the national capital region.

Kejriwal and Mann said that the AAP governments are in Punjab and Delhi. This is not the time to raise fingers or abuse each other. If they say, Kejriwal is responsible and we say they are responsible, this will not solve the problem of smog in NCR, they added.

“We do not want to play blame game, we are responsible (for smog in NCR)”, they added. CM Kejriwal announced that primary schools in Delhi would be closed from November 5. Besides, the outdoor activity of students of the above fifth standard has been banned.

With pollutions levels, hospitals in Delhi have shown a sudden rise in patients in OPD and emergency due to respiratory problems.

According to Dr Sharada, Resident doctor, Lady Hardinge medical hospital, “The exact data is not there but there is an emergency. There is a rise of 40 to 50 per cent rise in patients with acute pulmonary symptoms related to increase in pollution.”

“So, the affected people are mainly those who already have other respiratory problems. The people who are prone are the ones who have weak immunity. They are suffering from other respiratory illnesses like cough. They have cough along with chest pain and difficulty in breathing. So, this is the situation, and the number of patients has also increased in paediatrics OPD,” said Dr Sunil of Lady Hardinge Medical College.

As per an ANI report, farmers in Haryana are adopting alternative means of managing agricultural residue. Farmers in Haryana’s Rohtak opt for converting stubble into fodder, reducing the number of stubble-burning incidents in the state. “We will not burn stubble now. It led to pollution. The government is buying our stubble at 5,000 per acre. We can now buy fertilizers and seeds with the money,” a local farmer told ANI. Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak Yadav Yashpal said that stubble burning in Haryana has been reduced significantly in the past 3-4 years due to the efforts made by the state government.

“Haryana government’s efforts in the last 3-4 years of providing alternate uses to farmers have led to the reduction in stubble burning cases by 23-24 per cent. Environmental Compensation charge will be imposed on anyone engaging in any fire incident. It is standard practice,” said Yadav Yashpal.

 

 

 

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