The national capital, Delhi, has been grappling with ‘severe’ air quality for the third straight day, as reported by SAFAR-India. The Air Quality Index (AQI) stands at a staggering 504, causing distress among residents who are struggling to breathe. ANI’s drone camera footage from the ITO area reveals a thick haze enveloping the city. The situation is equally concerning at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3), where the AQI reached an alarming 571. In Dhirpur, Delhi, the AQI was recorded at 542 on Saturday.
The deteriorating air quality has left Delhi’s residents in distress, with many urging the government to take immediate action. Krishan Kant, a Delhi resident, emphasized the urgency, saying, “Since 3-4 days, pollution is very high. Delhi govt must take some initiative…now the situation is such that we have to wear masks…we are having difficulty in breathing.”
Neighboring areas like Noida also find themselves in a ‘severe’ pollution crisis, with an AQI of 576. In Noida’s Sector-116 and Sector 62, the AQI stands at 426 and 428, respectively, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. Residents like Abhay Kumar in Noida describe the air as heavy and suffocating, expressing their concerns over the rising pollution levels.
Gurugram is not far behind, with an AQI of 512, maintaining the ‘severe’ air quality category.
The severity of Delhi’s air quality crisis has been on an upward trajectory since 2021 and was highlighted in the Respirer Report, which identified Delhi as having the highest PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 levels in the country for the month of October.
As the Air Quality Index (AQI) in various parts of Delhi-NCR remains in the ‘severe’ category, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken notice and demanded responses from the Chief Secretaries of the affected states. The NGT directed them to take immediate remedial action and submit a report detailing the steps taken to address the air pollution crisis. The NGT emphasized the urgent need for measures to ensure better air quality for the residents of these cities, especially those experiencing ‘severe,’ ‘very poor,’ and ‘poor’ AQI levels.