Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Delhi continues to suffer ‘Severe’ air quality levels, toxic smog persists

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According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the National Capital remains in the “severe” category.
On Thursday morning, toxic haze was still present in a number of city areas.
The System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India) released data showing that the AQI in Anand Vihar was 432 (severe category), and 453 (severe category) in the RK Puram region.
In a similar vein, Punjab Bagh’s air quality was rated as 444 (severe), whilst ITO is 441 (severe category).
“There is a lot of pollution. Everybody is dealing with issues. We feel as though something is burning in our eyes,” a resident of Connaught Place stated.

“The pollution is causing a lot of problems. There is difficulty in breathing and the government should do something,” another resident said while speaking to ANI.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed grave concern over the hazardous air quality in the national capital and directed that farmers should stop stubble burning forthwith in Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, saying it was one of the major contributors to air pollution.
It also observed that schemes like odd-even for vehicles to tackle pollution issues mere optics.
Delhi government on Monday decided to reintroduce the odd-even rule from November 13 to 20 in view of the concerns of deterioration in air quality. A decision on further extending the odd-even rule would be taken later.
According to the 8-point action plan, there will be a ban on entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except for trucks carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services and all LNG/ CNG/ electric trucks).
Meanwhile, Noida and Ghaziabad district administrations have decided to discontinue all physical classes in schools till Friday in view of the worsening air quality conditions.
The administration suggested schools that they conduct classes in online mode.
Air pollution levels can be high during the winter months for a number of reasons, including dust and vehicular pollution, dry-cold weather, stubble burning, burning crop residues after the harvest season, and commuting.
Cold air is denser and moves slower than warm air, so it traps pollution and doesn’t whisk it away. This means that air pollution in winter remains in place for much longer than during the summer.
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 pose a risk of lung cancer.

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