Delhi records season's worst air quality ahead of Diwali

Delhi records season's worst air quality ahead of Diwali

Delhi records season's worst air quality ahead of Diwali

"Data revealed that compared to a year ago, there has been a 30 per cent reduction in stubble burning".

Amid a rise in health-related problems due to increase in air pollution in the national capital, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan Thursday launched a manual on asthma detailing how school administrations must behave in case of an emergency.

Delhi's overall air quality index on Monday was recorded at 434, which falls in the "severe" category, a drastic decline from Sunday's "moderate" level at 171.

The average volume of PM2.5 and PM10, or particles with a diameter less than 2.5 and 10 microns, across 35 regions in Delhi was 368 and 507 microgrammes per cubic meters, which was 14 times higher than the limit.

In Delhi-NCR, the PM2.5 was recorded 186 and PM10 was recorded at 319, the CPCB data said.

He underlined that despite a decrease in incidents of stubble burning by 30 per cent from the previous year, more needed to be done.

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"The government has had limited success in persuading farmers to stop burning the post-harvest stubble in their fields - a major source of the smog sweeping Delhi", she said.

"The AQI (air quality index) is predicted to be in the lower range of very poor today as the atmosphere is relatively clean", an official of the centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research or SAFAR told PTI. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) issued the directions, which also included intensifying patrolling in "hot spots" with "no tolerance for visibly polluting vehicles", to government agencies following the orders from the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).

The CPCB Tuesday held a meeting with transport authorities regarding this, Prashant Gargava, Member Secretary of the statutory organisation under the Environment Ministry, said. "These measures are being introduced keeping in mind the forecast and the need for emergency actions to combat pollution", said Bhure Lal, chairman of EPCA. "Contribution from biomass fire is likely to be marginal on Friday and further for the next two days". We have repeatedly sought opportunities to share our experiences with the Minister of Health, and to escalate the ignored voices of impacted communities that are now desperate for immediate intervention. "The weatherman is monitoring weather conditions to become favourable for creating artificial rains", the professor, who is part of the project, said.

Delhi government has ordered the intensification of water sprinkling on roads in the coming days.

Air pollution in Delhi and nearby states increases particularly due to burning of paddy straw during October and November and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana.

"Delhi's fate depends on meteorologcial factors and the firecrackers".

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