Delhi's air quality turned 'severe' for the first time this season

Pablo Tucker
November 5, 2018

"As expected there is a significant intrusion of bio-mass generated pollution in Delhi which is increasing pollution levels and made it very poor in spite of moderate surface wind speed", an unidentified official of Safar told PTI. Ten areas in Delhi recorded "severe" air quality while 23 areas recorded "very poor" air quality, according to the CPCB data.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which is monitoring the pollution levels, announced restrictions on construction activities, hot mix plants, coal and biomass-based industries, brick kilns and stone crushers in the NCR.

The overall air quality index of Delhi was recorded at 392, which falls in the "very poor" category and is just eight points from turning severe. While only Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain showed up, the environment ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh reportedly skipped the meet and sent bureaucrats instead.

The programme has received the backing of more than 60 MPs, including former Labour leader Ed Miliband and former Conservative minister Maria Miller.

The WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health was organized in collaboration with UN Environment, World Meteorological Organization, Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the World Bank and the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Moreover, a decrease of 30% in stubble burning compared to previous year and the strict pollution control actions by authorities across NCR have also helped in this improvement. Its a collective problem and I urge everyone to please work together. "Only then can we find a solution", tweeted Arvind Kejriwal. "We will take them when needed", Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.

On Saturday, Delhi's air quality improved with 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) at 327 at 9 pm as against the last week's average of 372.

According to reports of the South African National Department of Environmental Affairs, and confirmed by our own experience and analysis, air quality exceeds the South African ambient air quality standards (AAQS) on an ongoing basis; especially in the Highveld, Mpumalanga, Vaal, and Waterberg-Bojanala priority areas. Fine particulates can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres).

He emphasized the need for taking action which can lead to local containment of pollution and which is visible to the people.In addition to the above it was also directed that Government of Delhi shall immediately deploy 400 water sprinklers/ tankers as already committed.

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