Thursday, 15 November, 2018


Ahead of Diwali, Delhi's Air Quality continues to alarm citizens

Delhi air pollution,air emergency in Delhi,air pollution 'Hazardous' air pollution in India's capital prompts emergency measures
Kristine Garrett | 06 November, 2018, 07:58

An Indian man with his face covered walks amid heavy smog along a street in New Delhi, Nov. 5, 2018.

The national capital's air quality was on the brink of turning severe on Thursday, November 1, due to stubble-burning in the adjoining regions and unfavourable meteorological conditions, authorities said.

Anumita Roychowdhury, an executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment think-tank, said that in two particularly bad states farmers burn stubble in their fields to prepare for winter planting.

Air pollution spiked overnight in the entire region to "very poor" category, with Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi being 392 at 9 a.m.

The NCR, especially Delhi has been in the grip of toxic air for a week, mainly due to thick smoke emanating from the burning of stubble in the farmlands of Haryana and Punjab and lakhs of automobiles emitting fossil fumes.

Meanwhile, Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh saw an improvement in AQI to 362. Civil construction will remain closed in Delhi and other NCR districts, besides closure of all stone crushers, hot mix plants generating dust pollution in Delhi and NCR districts, according to a Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) order.

Indication of this move were given by the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) when it's chair Bhure Lal told the media that "recent forecast has shown air quality is set to worsen in the next few days and if it crosses severe levels, we will have to take the emergency steps".

The launch of a Clean Air Strategy in May by environment secretary Michael Gove already indicated the reduction of air pollution has become a priority for the United Kingdom government.

"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the absence of his Punjab and Haryana counterparts at the high-profile deliberations".

"Not only is our device cheaper than existing devices being used in other parts of the world which cost around Dollars 300,000 (but) it also cleans many more times than the ionisation towers", Puri told PTI. Its a collective problem and I urge everyone to please work together. "Only then can we find a soln (sic)". "We will take them when needed", Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.

After the press conference, the Minister also flagged-off special buses called Pariyayantra.

"The coming days could see a sharp deterioration in air quality in Delhi-NCR", EPCA said.

The Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago yesterday returned from Geneva, Switzerland where he was hosted as one of the key Speakers at the First World Health Organization Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health.

The permissible limit for PM2.5 and PM10 is 60 and 80 units by national standards and 25 and 50 units by global standards.

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