air pollution

Delhi’s air quality improves slightly, but the smog is still a health hazard

Falling temperatures and changing wind patterns have helped Air Quality Index readings move to the ‘very poor’ category from ‘severe’ last week.

Delhi’s air quality improved slightly on Wednesday, a week after it plummeted to the dangerous “severe” category and led to a public health emergency. Despite the minor improvement, the air quality in Delhi is still a health hazard.

At 9 am on Wednesday, the Air Quality Index reading in the Capital was 316 on a scale of 500 – the “very poor” category, according to Central Pollution Control Board data. On Tuesday, the air quality reading was 308. The index had hit a peak of 486 on November 9.

An Air Quality Index reading of up to 50 is considered “good” and up to 100 is considered “satisfactory”. A reading between 301 and 400 is ranked “very poor” on the index and above 400 is “severe”, which means the air is dangerously filled with pollutants.

Falling temperatures and changing wind patterns are helping clean the air, experts said.

“High altitude winds that bring pollutants from outside have calmed down,” Gurfan Beig, project director of System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting, told the Hindustan Times. Beig said pollutants are being flushed out as surface-level winds are gathering speed.

Rain in parts of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana has also helped Delhi’s air quality improve, said Sathi Devi, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre, according to The Hindu. “Strong winds will blow towards the city from the north west by Friday,” Devi said, adding that this will help further improve the air quality.

Safar has forecast a further dip in particulate matter levels in Delhi’s air over the next three days.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

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Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.