The Central Pollution Control Board on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi government, asking it to quickly act on complaints related to activities causing pollution, PTI reported.
The pollution control body directed the Delhi government to take strict action against the burning of tyres and other wastes, which causes the air quality to deteriorate.
Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar said at a press briefing that Delhi’s pollution problem remained serious, even though stubble burning had stopped. He added that pollution-causing activities such as garbage burning continued and construction norms were being violated.
Javadekar said that 50 teams from the Central Pollution Control Board inspect Delhi-National Capital Region each day and submit their observations and complaints to authorities. “Yet, some work is done, some [of it is] not,” the Union minister was quoted as saying by PTI. “Hence, the CPCB has issued a notice to the Delhi government asking it to take necessary and swift action on complaints we are forwarding to it.”
Delhi’s air quality was in the “very poor” category, with an index value of 377, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s 1 pm update. Delhi’s air quality index at 4 pm on Thursday was 341, which also falls in the “very poor” category. This figure was an average of the last 24 hours.
The AQI at Noida’s Sector-1 at 1 pm was 393, also in the “very poor” category. Gurugram’s Vikas Sadan also recorded a poor AQI, with an index value of 361.
An analysis of data from the Central Pollution Control Board earlier this week had shown that the air quality in Delhi in November this year was worse than in 2019.
The data showed that the 30-day average air quality index, or AQI, in November 2020 was 328, which falls in the “very poor” category, while it was 312 this month last year. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.
The Capital also recorded nine “severe” air quality days in November, the maximum number of such days in the month in four years. There were seven “severe” days in November last year. There were five such days each in November 2018 and 2017.
This year’s pollution levels also breached the emergency threshold twice in November as smog enveloped the Capital for days. The air quality is considered in the “severe plus” or “emergency” category if PM2.5 and PM10 levels persist above 300 µg/m3 and 500 µg/m3, respectively, for more than 48 hours, according to the Graded Response Action Plan.
Delhi is also battling intense cold and rising coronavirus cases. The number of cases have, however, reduced since the peak on November 11, when Delhi reported more than 8,000 cases. On Thursday, Delhi reported 3,734 new cases and 82 deaths. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the situation is “under control”.