City's air quality severe for third consecutive day
NEW DELHI: Thick haze engulfed Delhi on Wednesday as the air quality in the national Capital remained 'severe' for the third consecutive day, with mild rain, further adding to pollution woes, authorities said. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 413. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 "very poor" and 401 and 500 'severe'.
The AQI on Monday has recorded at 412 and on Tuesday it was at 415. According to experts, even healthy people find it hard to breathe when the air quality level is at 'severe' and doctors advise physical activity to be kept at a minimum. Neighbouring Ghaziabad and Noida also recorded 'severe' air quality. Ghaziabad's air quality was the worst at an AQI of 429, the CPCB data showed. Faridabad recorded 'very poor' air quality. Twenty-nine areas in Delhi recorded 'severe' air quality and in eight areas it was at 'very poor', the CPCB added. Rohini, Bawana, Ashok Vihar and Wazirpur edged towards 'severe plus emergency' category, the CPCB said. The overall PM2.5 level — fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre — was recorded at 257 and the PM10 level at 423.
The government-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said that the meteorological conditions leading to insufficient rain led to the deterioration of the air quality. "There is a fall in temperature and a good amount of moisture is present in the air. Moist air is passing over Delhi's cool surface leading to fog formation and calm winds are not allowing pollutants to disperse," the SAFAR said. According to the IMD, the air quality is likely to remain under the 'severe' category for the next two days. The situation is likely to improve after that when wind speed picks up. The relative humidity was recorded on Wednesday at 98 per cent, the weather office said.
CPCB directs civic bodies to carry out special drive
The Central Pollution Control Authority-led task force has directed all municipal corporation and other concerned agencies in Delhi-NCR to carry out a special drive and enforce corrective actions particularly in the areas battling severe pollution levels. According to CPCB data, 19 areas in Delhi have been identified where the special anti-pollution drive would be carried out. The CPCB-led task force emphasised that implementing agencies must ensure strict enforcement of the Graded Response Action Plan and effectively deal with violations. The areas identified in Delhi are Anand Vihar, Ashok Vihar, Bawana, Burari Crossing, CRRI Mathura Road, DTU, Dwarka-Sector 8, Jahangirpuri, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Nehru Nagar, Rohini, Sonia Vihar, Wazirpur, Mandir Marg, Narela, Okhla Phase 2, Patparganj, Sirifort and Vivek Vihar. In NCR — Faridabad Sector - 16A, Baghpat New Collectorate, Yamunapuram, Vasundhara, Knowledge Park - III, Hapur Anand Vihar, Sector - 125 in Noida and Sector - 62 in Noida.