The air quality in Delhi remained in the “very poor” category on Friday recording 368 on the Air Quality Index, according to data of the Central Pollution Control Board.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research said the AQI will remain in the “upper ranges” of the category for the next three days. “This is mainly due to weather condition as stubble burning is marginal,” it said. “Winds are calm and it is favourable for stagnation of pollution,” PTI quoted from the SAFAR website.
The PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) reading was 210, which falls in the “very poor” category. The PM10 reading in Delhi stood at 333, which is in the “poor” category.
According to the CPCB, four areas in Delhi recorded “severe” air quality while 29 areas recorded “very poor” air quality.
On Thursday, the air quality in the national Capital was on the brink of turning severe due to stubble burning and weather conditions. SAFAR had said the air quality in the Delhi-National Capital Region is likely to deteriorate further over the next 10 days.
The air quality in Delhi has remained poor despite the government taking steps to lower pollution levels. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has banned construction activities in the city between November 1 and November 10. The authority issued the order for industries using coal and biomass as fuel. Civil construction has also been suspended, while stone crushing units and hot mix plants have been shut.
The authority has also directed the Transport Department and the traffic police to intensify checking of polluting vehicles and control travel traffic congestion in the region from November 1 to November 10, PTI reported.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has deployed 43 teams on night patrol to check incidents of garbage burning. Around 110 vehicles have been deployed to sprinkle water on the roads and 12 mechanical dust sweeping machines.
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday called for an “aggressive plan” to combat pollution during a crucial meeting. However, the environment ministers of four states surrounding Delhi – Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – skipped the meeting.
Vardhan said the steps taken by states to control stubble burning “are far from satisfactory”. Vardhan asked the Delhi government to ensure that the open burning of domestic and industrial waste is stopped 100%.
The meeting was called ahead of Diwali to discuss the plan for the next ten days when the pollution level is expected to spike in the national capital.