Millennium Post

Pollution level in city in ‘normal range’, claims govt

Pollution level in Delhi is “in the normal range” but the fog will continue for next few days, the Delhi government said on Saturday. 

“The foggy situation develops a public perception of polluted conditions, so it is necessary to state the actual status of air pollution in Delhi and to differentiate between smog and fog,” said a Delhi government statement after state Environment Minister Imran Hussain assessed the current ambient air quality and air pollution status in a meeting with senior officials of his department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

Pollution level in Delhi is “in the normal range” but the fog will continue for the next few days.  “Delhi is currently witnessing a foggy season along with entire North India and the Indian Metrological Department (IMD) has predicted that the fog will continue for next few days,” it said.

The statement added that the analysis of the data generated by ambient air quality network of DPCC observed no major variation in last few days in the concentration of particulate matter which is the main cause of pollution in Delhi. “Though the concentration exceeds the prescribed standard but it is in the normal range observed in the last few years,” it said.

Hussain stressed upon the requirement to keep vigil on all polluting activities to control all types of emissions. The Air Quality Index (AQI) also hovered around 348 in the “very poor category” on Saturday, according to System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The AQI in areas like Punjabi Bagh, Lodhi Colony, Mandir Marg, Anand Vihar, and Chattarpur crossed 300 in the morning. The level of air pollution in these areas have been called “severe,” and the air is deemed too dangerous to even breathe.

Notably, the WHO, in its report earlier, has said that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world when it comes to air quality. Needless to say, the air pollution level in Delhi remains very high round the 
year (much worse in winter). Delhi has witnessed a sudden spike in air pollution level leading to “very severe” category in early November. 

The city has been blanketed with smog leading to poor visibility, and people are advised to stay indoors. Following this, the Delhi Chief Minister has announced a slew of emergency measures among others shutting down schools, power plant, DG sets, construction activities, etc whereas, 15-year-old vehicles and entry of trucks passing through Delhi were banned. National Green Tribunal (NGT), a Supreme Court-appointed Bench, ordered drastic measures to curb air pollution.
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