On the fourth consecutive day, the air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘Severe’ category on Sunday though with a marginal dip in the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 410 against 504 on Saturday, as per the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India). According to the data issued by SAFAR-India, the air quality in the Lodhi Road area was recorded at 385 (Very Poor) while at Delhi University area stands at 456 (Severe).
ANI drone camera footage from the Qutub Minar area showed a thick layer of haze in the air.
A morning walker in Lodhi Garden complained of difficulty in breathing due to an increase in pollution.
“The situation of pollution is extremely poor. It is difficult to breathe these days. Several people used to come to Lodhi Garden earlier, but now only 10% of people are coming here. Pollution is at its maximum this year,” Manohar Lal said.
Another person, Ajay, said that the pollution is causing a burning sensation in the eyes.
“The situation of pollution is such that we are experiencing a burning sensation in our eyes. The situation was better earlier, but now it is getting worse,” he added.
A similar situation was recorded in Noida, as air quality plunged to the ‘severe’ category with AQI at 466, as per SAFAR-India.
Gurugram recorded an AQI of 392, keeping the air quality under the ‘Very Poor’ category.
According to doctors, for any healthy person, a recommended AQI should be less than 50, but these days the AQI has spiked beyond 400, which could prove fatal for those suffering from lung-related diseases and even poses a risk of lung cancer.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai wrote to Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, requesting him to ban the entry of vehicles non-compliant with BS-VI norms into Delhi from neighbouring states in Delhi-NCR.
He also requested an emergency meeting of neighbouring states’ environment ministers.
Rai said, “Looking at the rise in the level of pollution in the last two days, construction has been banned in Delhi since yesterday. Today there has been an improvement in the level of pollution as compared to yesterday. The situation is still serious. I am writing to the Central government requesting that the Union Environment Minister call an emergency meeting of Environment ministers of all five states immediately. The orders of CAQM are not being implemented in other states. Rules are being made, and CAQM is giving directions, but in the whole NCR, rules are being violated. This is the problem of the whole of North India.”
As the Air Quality Index (AQI) in several parts of Delhi-NCR is reeling under the ‘severe’ category, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday sought responses from the Chief Secretaries of the affected states and directed to take immediate remedial action and submit the action taken report before the Tribunal.
NGT in a statement said that immediate action is required for the prevention and control of air pollution in these cities so as to ensure better air quality to the residents.
“In view of the NGT seeks response of Chief Secretaries of the States where the cities AQI has dipped to severe, very poor and poor, are directed to take immediate remedial action and submit action taken report before the Tribunal,” added the statement.