Air Quality In Delhi, Adjoining Areas Falls To “Severe” Category
Stubble burning represented 32 percent of Delhi’s PM2.5 contamination (File)
The air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas dipped to “serious” on Saturday as individuals defied a ban on lighting Diwali firecrackers in a number of locations, intensifying the pollution brought on by burning farm waste in neighbouring states.
The city tape-recorded a total Air Quality Index or AQI of 414 on Saturday, which falls in the “serious” classification. The 24- hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.
Stubble burning accounted for 32 per cent of the city’s PM2.5 pollution, weather condition officials told news agency PTI, referring to the small particles that can be carried into the lungs, triggering lethal illness, including cancer and cardiac issues.
Practically all locations in the city logged PM2.5 levels above 400 with numerous areas nearing the 500- mark. Anything above 60 is considered unhealthy. A thick layer of smog covered the entire region reducing the visibility.
Homeowners grumbled about stinging eyes, sore throat and shortness of breath as the city come to grips with the 3rd wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Calm winds have actually worsened the situation, enabling the build-up of toxins, weather officials said.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said, “Even a little increase in local extra emissions is likely to have significant wear and tear effect on Sunday and Monday.”
It stated peak levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 1 am and 6 remain in case of extra internal emissions.
Delhi taped a 24- hour typical AQI of 337 on Diwali in 2015 (October 27), and 368 and 400 in the next two days. Thereafter, pollution levels remained in the “extreme” category for 3 days.
This time, the India Meteorological Department has stated that a fresh western disruption might increase the wind speed and enhance the air quality in Delhi-NCR after Diwali.
Light rain is likely on Sunday under the impact of a western disturbance. It is still unclear if it suffices to remove pollutants, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s local forecasting centre, stated.
V K Soni, the head of the environment research study centre at the India Meteorological Department, stated firecrackers may press the air quality to the “severe” zone on Diwali night, along with calm winds and smoke from farm fires.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had on Monday imposed an overall ban on the sale or use of all type of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, keeping in mind the dreadful pollution levels.
A bench led by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the instructions will use to all cities and towns in the nation where the average of ambient air quality during November 2019 remained in “bad” and above categories.
( With inputs from PTI)
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