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Thick smog layer blankets Delhi, air quality borders ‘severe’ category

Updated 29th October 2020 | 12:35 IST

A thick layer of smog blanketed several areas of Delhi on Thursday pushing the general air quality closer to the ‘severe’ category. The pollution levels rose sharply after a marginal reduction, primarily thanks to calm winds and spike in farm fires.

At 10 am, the capital recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 392. Fourteen monitoring stations, including at Shadipur (406), Patparganj (411), Jahangirpuri (429) and Vivek Vihar (432), recorded air quality within the ‘severe’ category, consistent with press agency PTI.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the wind speed dipped on Wednesday which allowed accumulation of pollutants. “Following slight relief, the air quality again entered the very poor category by the evening,” PTI quoted a senior scientist at IMD as saying.

On Wednesday, the general AQI was 297, it had been 213 on Tuesday, 353 on Monday, 349 on Sunday, 345 on Saturday and 366 on Friday. An AQI between 0 and 50 is taken into account ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

Delhi’s air quality is predicted to stay within the ‘very poor’ category until Friday, as unfavourable environmental condition are hindering dispersion of pollutants and therefore the contribution of stubble burning emissions to pollution has increased, as per forecast from government agencies.

To help combat pollution , Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will today launch a ‘Green Delhi’ mobile app. Through the app, people are going to be ready to lodge complaints against waste burning, industrial pollution, dust emissions and other polluting activities.

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The share of stubble burning emissions from Punjab, Haryana and UP in Delhi’s PM2.5 levels — fine particles suspended within the air — increased to an estimated 23% Tuesday. it had been 18 per cent on Wednesday, consistent with SAFAR.

Also in Noida, where the AQI is averaging between 410 and 450 within the ‘hazardous’ category for the last 48 hours, authorities are watching ways to curb local sources of pollution. As per ACQIN data, PM 10 levels were recorded at 413 while PM 2.5 spiked to 215 Wednesday as against a perfect limit of fifty .

On Wednesday, President Ram Nath Kovind signed an ordinance brought in by the Centre for a Commission to manage air quality within the capital Region. The Commission is to possess exclusive jurisdiction over the NCR, including areas in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, in matters of pollution , and can be working along side CPCB and ISRO, aside from the respective state

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