Step up measures amid spike in AQI and PM10 levels: Min to officials

New Delhi: Owing to the deteriorating air quality in the national Capital, Delhi Environment minister Gopal Rai Thursday directed officials to run anti-smog guns throughout the day and sprinkle water at construction and demolition (C&D) sites.

The recent bump in the AQI of the national Capital was due to strong dust-laden westerly winds from the Thar desert and Pakistan, Rai said at a review meeting with officials of his department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) at the Delhi Secretariat.

“The Kejriwal government has always taken tough steps to curb increasing pollution in Delhi,” an official statement quoted Rai as saying.

The minister added, “On May 16 and 17, a significant portion of Delhi and NCR was engulfed by dust, causing reduced visibility.” The contribution of dust pollution to PM10 levels rose from 11 per cent during May 1-15 to 65.77 per cent from May 16-17, Rai added.

On Tuesday, the DPCC data showed PM10 levels soaring to 3,826 micrograms per cubic metre at Jahangirpuri and 2,565 micrograms per cubic metre at Sri Aurobindo Marg.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, PM10 levels up to 100 micrograms per cubic metre (for a 24-hour period) are considered safe. “As part of the Summer Action Plan, several departments have deployed 84 mechanical road sweeping machines, 609 water sprinklers, and 185 mobile anti-smog guns throughout Delhi to combat dust pollution,” Rai said.

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