Delhi pollution worsens each day, say hello to indoors

Ismael LynchOct 29, 2018

The PM 2.5 - the pollutants with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres - level was recorded at 225, the highest this season.

Twelve pollution monitoring stations in different parts of the city recorded severe air quality while 20 stations recorded very poor air quality, data showed.

Among the most polluted regions in Delhi were Dwarka, Anand Vihar, Rohini, Mundaka, Bawana, Mathura Raod, Delhi Technical University, Jahangirpuri, Narela, Nehru Nagar, Delhi University North Campus, Punjabi Bagh, R.K. Puram, Sonia Vihar, Vivek Vihar and Wazirpur.

Expecting a highly polluted Diwali, a pollution task force headed by the CPCB on Friday issued advisories to a Supreme Court-appointed environment body, suggesting closure of industries, construction and intensified traffic regulation between November 1 and 10.

Persistent stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab and local polluting factors have already wreaked havoc, and now the weather conditions have also started to contribute in the increasing pollution levels.

A task force led by the CPCB recommended residents to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and minimise the use of private vehicles to reduce exposure to toxic air. The level of PM2.5 - tiny particulate matter that can dangerously clog lungs - was 187, more than six times higher than what the World Health Organization considers safe.

A thick haze due to smog engulfed the national capital which recorded the worst air quality of this season, authorities said.

The pollution level in the national capital has deteriorated to alarming levels in the last two weeks.

While the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 366 on a scale of 0 to 500, considered "very-poor", the same was 415 in Ghaziabad and 403 in Gurugram - both signifying "severe".

The measures recommended by the task force are only preventive steps and not to create panic as the air pollution in Delhi is governed by meteorological conditions, he said.

The residential bio-fuel emission declined significantly in Delhi at 64 per cent since 2010, the report said. It also recommended that people go for shorter walks instead of jogs, keep windows closed and wear masks.

In a meeting with representatives from Environment Ministry, IMD, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Haryana Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Board Friday, the task force apprised the members on the levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR showing an upward trend.

The Central Pollution Control Board and SAFAR on Saturday issued separate advisories.

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