air pollution

Chandigarh airport suspends flight operations amid low visibility, air quality ‘severe’ in Delhi

The thick dusty haze in the National Capital Region is likely to persist till Friday, officials said.

Flight operations were suspended at the Chandigarh airport on Thursday because of poor visibility in the city after a dust storm. As many as 33 flights arriving at and departing from the airport, including three international ones, were cancelled, The Times of India reported.

Visibility plummeted in cities across North India because of air pollution. The air quality in several parts of the National Capital Region was at dangerous levels in the morning, even as officials said the thick haze is likely to persist till Friday. The concentration of dust particles in the air was two times the level on Tuesday evening.

The level of particular matter PM 10, a major pollutant, has stayed over 500 micrograms per cubic metre for the last 32 hours, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. The level was 800 micrograms per cubic metre on Thursday morning. PM 10 refers to pollutants with particles of sizes 10 microns or lesser.

The Air Quality Index in Siri Fort area was 500 – the maximum possible on the scale used by the pollution control board. An Air Quality Index reading up to 50 is considered “good” and up to 100 is considered “satisfactory”. A reading between 401 and 500 is ranked “severe” on the index, which means the air is dangerously filled with pollutants.

The Air Quality Index in Greater Noida was also 500 at 1 pm.

The “severe” air quality can affect healthy people too, and “seriously impacts those with existing diseases”, according to the pollution control board.

The index was 454 in Aya Nagar and 471 in ITO area.

“Due to the high wind speeds, dust particles are being transported from Rajasthan,” VK Shukla, the scientist in charge of the Air Lab at the Central Pollution Control Board, told Reuters on Wednesday. “The situation is likely to remain the same for the next two days.”

RK Jenamani, head of the aviation meteorology services of Delhi region, told the Hindustan Times: “Such strong winds are expected to continue till Friday night after which they are likely to weaken. There are chances of rain on June 17.”

The air quality in Delhi has deteriorated since Tuesday evening due to a ground-level dust storm in western India.

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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”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

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.


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.