Delhi’s Air Quality ‘Severe’ as Smog Pertains, Likely to Improve Tomorrow

Rini Sharma
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New Delhi, Oct 21: Delhi woke up to a hazy morning on Saturday as the peak levels of pollutants in the national capital on Diwali night breached the emergency point. Notably, it was lower than the last year. A thick layer of smog was witnessed at Akshardham, India Gate and in several other areas of the city.

As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, a significant fall in the volume of particulars PM2.5, PM10 and gaseous pollutant SO2 (sulphur dioxide) was recorded across the national capital on the Diwali night, as compared to last year. The CPCB’s Diwali day air quality index had a score of 426 last year, which falls in the ‘severe’ – or the most polluted – category. This year, it was 326, in the ‘very poor’ category.

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According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), air quality will be in the severe category even on Saturday when the PM 2.5 levels are expected to be 318 micrograms per cubic metre. PM 10 concentration is expected to be 476 micrograms per cubic metre. However, a relatively cleaner post Diwali air can be expected from Sunday.

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The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA), which is empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR, kicked off a series of preventive measures on October 17.

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Measures under the GRAP’s ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories, which include a ban on diesel generator sets, have come into effect and will remain in force till March 15.

(Inputs from Agencies)