January 20, 2019

Delhi Records Season's Worst Air Quality: CPCB

29 October 2018, 04:43 | Ross Houston

Great Ormond Street is in an area where levels of fine particles are deemed dangerous to healthPETE MACLAINE EPA

Great Ormond Street is in an area where levels of fine particles are deemed dangerous to health

According to the Central Pollution Control Board real-time air pollution monitoring, at 6pm on Thursday, the concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were 162.7 micrograms per cubic metre and 349.6 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

Officials said the situation was because of construction dust, vehicular pollution, and crop stubble burning from Punjab and Haryana.

With the air quality reduced to "very severe" in the Indian capital region, authorities are bracing for a major Hindu festival featuring massive fireworks that threatens to cloak New Delhi with more toxic smog and dust.

An air quality index or AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

Shutdown of coal and biomass based industries (excluding thermal and waste-to-energy plants) from November 4 to 10, intensification of efforts by transport department to check polluting vehicles and controlling traffic congestion in Delhi-NCR between November 1 and 10.

"As per data from the IMD, we can say the air quality is likely to get further affected due to change in wind direction and slower and calmer winds".

The most recent air pollution data from the World Health Organization released in March gave India the dubious distinction of having the world's 10 most polluted cities.

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It has forecast even worse indices for Sunday - 359 (PM10) and 211 (PM2.5).

Stubble-burning in Delhi's neighbouring Punjab and Haryana is now contributing to 20-30 per cent of the Capital's overall air-pollution, at a time when winds over Delhi are calm, officials said.

The report, which analyses the impact of pollutant PM2.5, showed that the highest contribution since October 11 by stubble burning was seen on Friday at 36 per cent.

The recommendations of the health advisory included people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

It also asked people to go for shorter walks instead of jogs, keep windows closed and wear masks while stepping outside. "The challenge is the capability and capacity of the government to do proper enforcement", said Ms Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of the Centre for Science and Environment.

Delhi pollution is back again and that too to stay for a long time now.

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