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Friday, November 1, 2019

Delhi’s air quality dips to emergency levels, breaches negative mark


Delhi’s air quality dips to emergency levels, breaches  negative mark

The Air Quality Index (AQI) value was hovering at 459 at 8 am on Friday after pollution levels breached the ‘severe+’ zone late on Thursday night.

This is the first time that the air quality has dipped to emergency levels in the national capital this season. Such a situation was last seen in January 2019.

Even though till 8 am in the morning the air quality showed no signs of improvement, government agencies have forecast that there could be marginal improvement today. Marked improvement could only be expected on Sunday when winds are expected to pick

“At 8 am the PM2.5 level was standing at 350ug/m3, nearly six tomes above the daily permissible limit of 60ug/m3. The PM10 level was recorded to be 539ug/m3 which is more than five times above the permissible limit of 100ug/m3m” said a CPCB official.

According to the Graded Response Action Plan extreme measures such as odd-even road rationing, banning entry of trucks, banning construction activities and other measures such as shutting down of schools are enforced if air quality persists in emergency zone.

However, despite the deterioration of air quality in Delhi and experts saying that young children should be kept indoors till pollution levels ease, schools remain open on Friday. No official order has been given to shut schools in Delhi and NCR for now.

Pollution control authorities have cited a slight improvement that is expected in pollution levels by Sunday to resist from ordering more serious curbs such a ban on schools.

But experts said this showed the inadequacy of the air pollution plan, and highlighted how it was reactive rather than proactive in nature.

Chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal held the governments of Punjab and Haryana responsible for the deteriorating air quality. In a tweet on Friday morning,  Kejriwal said that the farmers of the two states are left with no option but to burn their stubble.

The AAP had organized a protest infront of the Punjab and Haryana bhavans on Thursday.

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