As the level of air quality in Delhi plummeted almost to emergency levels, pollution control authorities called on people in the national capital to limit outdoor activities and told the government and private offices that reduce vehicle use by at least 30 percent. The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was 471, according to the 4 pm bulletin from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Friday, the worst this season so far. It was 411 on Thursday.
A record number of agricultural fires They are among the main reasons for Delhi’s increasing pollution on Friday.
A subcommittee of the Graduated Response Action Plan (Grap) said that the weather conditions will be highly unfavorable for the dispersal of pollutants until November 18 and the agencies involved must be fully ready to implement measures under the category of “emergency.”
After the warning, parents have begun to keep their children at home, as the days remain particularly dangerous for people with respiratory conditions.
“This increase in pollution is an amalgamation of many things. Delhi has already seen peak levels of pollution after Diwali and high stubble counts in Punjab and Haryana. Due to the slow winds, the pollution load is not relieved and more pollution is added. All of this is recirculating in the air, ”said VK Soni, head of IMD’s research and environment department.
According to an analysis of heat-sensitive satellite data by the Hindustan Times, there have been 24,694 fire incidents since November 8. This number is the highest in the second week of November since 2012, the first year for which data was available. .
Read also | The air trap around Delhi can stay for a week
The CPCB said the 24-hour average concentration of lung-damaging fine particles known as PM2.5 at Delhi-NCR crossed the 300 mark around midnight and stood at 381 micrograms per cubic meter as of 4 p.m. Friday. , more than six times the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
The PM10 level was recorded at 577 micrograms per cubic meter, more than five times the safe limit of 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
According to Grap, air quality is considered in the ’emergency’ category if PM2.5 and PM10 levels continue to be above 300 micrograms per cubic meter and 500 micrograms per cubic meter respectively for 48 hours or more. Emergency curbs include measures such as a ban on construction work and the entry of heavy vehicles, and limits on the use of even and odd cars.
An eye-stinging layer of smog over Delhi-NCR thickened on Friday, giving the sun an orange tint and reducing visibility to 200 meters in several places in the region.