'Hazardous' air pollution in India's capital prompts emergency measures
08 November, 2018, 07:03
The stubble burning induced impact is expected to decline and if no additional emissions from Firecrackers are added then Air Quality will improve during Diwali period (7-8th November, 2018), but will remain in "Very Poor" category. Apart from being engulfed in a haze, several areas of the city saw the particulate matter (PM) 2.5 which refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air known to cause respiratory illnesses being reported above 300 putting the air quality index (AQI) in "very poor" category.
The Centre-run EnvironmentPollution Control Authority (EPCA), had issued a notification predicting that there will be a depletion of air quality post Diwali period from (November 8 to November 10) due to the low dispersion and winds from the northwest part of India, which will result in increase emission levels in and around Delhi and National Capital Region. Authorities have warned of a spike in the pollution levels after Diwali on Wednesday even if "partially toxic crackers" are burnt compared to past year. Track the pollution level in Mumbai. On Monday, the index had turned "severe" in Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, and "very poor" in nearby Gurugram and Hapur.
On Monday, the AQI was recorded at severe category of 434, the highest of the season, it said.
On Wednesday, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded AQI of 328 at Dhirpur, 375 in Mathura Road, Delhi University - 365 and 353 at IGI Airport Terminal 3.
Coarser and highly risky PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm continue to dominate the pollution factor in Delhi, and are still at least four times higher than the national standards and nine times the global standards. Delhi's air quality is expected to deteriorate to "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali, SAFAR said.
Winds coming from North-westerly direction is bringing influence of biomass burning pollutants in Delhi-NCR which may continue up to Wednesday morning, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said.
SAFAR has also predicted that the PM10 concentration of Delhi is expected to reach 575 and PM2.5 to 378 on Thursday, recording the worst air quality of the year if firecrackers are burnt, it said.
Central Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Prashant Gargava on Tuesday said the board has advised transport authorities to prohibit heavy vehicles from entering the city from November 8 to November 10.
CPCB officials also said they were in talks with IIT, Kanpur, and IMD for inducing artificial rain after Diwali.
Schoolchildren protest against rising air pollution levels in New Delhi on Tuesday.
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