Severe Air Pollution Tightens Grip Over Delhi, North India; AQI Index Falls To Severe Category

Heavy Smog Cloaks North India, AQI in ‘’Severe’’ Category

Highlights:

  • Delhi recorded an average Air Quality Index of 411 on Thursday.
  • The concentration of PM2.5 particles stood at 346 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • PM10 levels were recorded at 544 micrograms per cubic metre.

A thick layer of smog wrapped Delhi’s NCR on Friday, adding an orange tinge to the sun and minimising visibility to 200 metres across several regions staggering under perilous air pollution levels from early November.

Severe air pollution levels have been recorded in Delhi on five of the last seven days after Diwali. Analysis report released by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) revealed that Delhi locals inhale the worst air from 1st to 15th of November every year.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded in the city on Thursday at 9 am was 454. The average AQI for the entire day was 411. The AQIs for Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Gurugram and Noida were 452, 490, 476, 418 and 434 respectively, which are placed in the severe category.

Lung-damaging fine particles known as PM2.5 stood at a concentration of 346 micrograms per cubic metre at 9 am in Delhi’s NCR, as reported by the Central Pollution Control Board. AQI levels ranging from 0 to 50 is regarded as “good”, 51-100 as “satisfactory”, 101-200 as “moderate”, 201-300 as “poor”, 301-400 as “very poor”, and 401-500 as “severe”.

The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) suggests that if the PM2.5 and PM10 levels persist at the above-mentioned levels for over 48 hours. IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) officials said that dips in temperature and fog combined with calm winds have been responsible for trapping pollutants close to the ground. The minimum temperature recorded in Delhi was 12.6 degrees celsius.

Also Read, Delhi Government’s Take On The Poisonous Froth Over Yamuna Amid Chhath

Very low visibility levels (300-500 metres) were reported at the Indira Gandhi International and Safdarjung Airport owing to moderate fog. High humid conditions aggravated the fog levels on Friday.

Stubble burning has contributed to 25 per cent of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollutions levels for eight days in a row starting November 4th. An alternate report suggested that vehicles were responsible for over 50 per cent of Delhi’s pollution commencing from the early phase of this year’s winter (October 24th – November 8th).

The CSE (Green think tank Centre for Science and Environment) said that the ongoing smog scenario is a public health emergency and is possibly the longest in 4 years.

Gopal Rai, Delhi’s Environment Minister wrote to Bhupender Yadav (Union Environment Minister) urging an emergency meeting with all states of NCR to review the issue of stubble burning.

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Kumkum Pattnaik

Kumkum’s knack for scrutiny coupled with her passion to serve quality content, has been a constant motivator for her to pursue content writing. In addition to being a ferocious researcher and an inquisitive soul, she firmly believes in making a difference in people’s lives with her articles. When she isn’t scanning the web amassing information, she loves to indulge in yoga or head out for a quick run.

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