Delhi`s air quality improves, settles at `very poor` level

Air pollution Delhi will implement odd-even scheme whenever required says CM Arvind Kejriwal

A residential building shrouded in smog in New Delhi on Tuesday | Altaf Hussain Reuters

The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) also showed an AQI (Air Quality Index) of 468 for Delhi.

After "severe" pollution was observed for four days in Delhi, the air quality in the national capital slightly improved Wednesday, but was still in the "very poor" category as weather conditions marginally favoured dispersion of pollutants, authorities said.

Across 35 areas in Delhi, where pollution is actively monitored, the average concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 was 230 and 353 microgrammes per cubic meters on Wednesday at 6 p.m. "The air quality is severe and prominent pollutants are PM 2.5 and PM 10".

"The wind speed and ventilation index are highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants", it said. Monday's air quality was just as bad, with the AQI at 448.

The index was 4500 sqm/second on December 24, the IITM said.

As per the global air quality monitoring platform AirVisual, Delhi's pollution at the "hazardous" level with 317 US AQI (Air Quality Index) with PM2.5 air pollution.

The AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 falls under the category of poor.

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Doctors say severe air quality affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing pulmonary diseases.

"The ventilation index which allows dispersion (of pollutants) is extremely poor and it is expected that these conditions will prevail for the next two days", EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said in a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.

Director Dr Randeep Guleria said there has been an increase in the number of patients visiting hospitals with complaints of respiratory problems and after suffering cardiac arrests during the months when pollution levels are high. "The air quality is likely to improve next two days but remain in "poor"/'very poor' category in Delhi-NCR".

He asked all three MCDs to ensure control of instances of burning in the open and compliance with dust control measures, failing which senior officers should be held accountable. In the Wazirpur area, the air quality also dipped to the severe category with 400.

Mr. Tiwari alleged that Mr. Kejriwal had made many poll promises to control pollution, including mechanical cleaning of roads, sprinkling of water, tree plantation, banning construction work and installing air purifiers, but the Delhi government had "failed" at fulfilling "any of them".

Authority on Monday received recommendations from the Central Pollution Control Board Task force, under the Graded Response Action Plan, directing factories located in hotspot industrial areas to remain closed till December 26 in Delhi-NCR.

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