Delhi air quality continues to worsen


New Delhi: The air pollution in Delhi-NCR continues to worsen amid unfavourable meteorological conditions with slower wind speed and rising farm fire incidents. As a thick layer of haze covered the Delhi sky on Friday morning, the national capital reeled under ‘severe plus’ air quality with Air Quality Index (AQI) at 472. At 7am, the AQI near ITI Jahangirpuri was at 550, 562 in Noida (UP), 539 in Gurugram (Haryana) and 563 near Delhi University.

As per the dynamic model and weather forecast, the overall air quality of Delhi is likely to remain in the ‘severe’/ ‘severe plus ‘ category till November 5, prompting authorities to invoke the final stage of anti-pollution measures, including a ban on diesel-run light motor vehicles.

The Commission for Air Quality Management – a statutory body formed in 2021 to tackle air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas – said in an order that the state governments may take a call on the closure of educational institutions, non-emergency commercial activities and plying of vehicles on odd-even basis. The CAQM said central and state governments may decide on permitting work from home. It was of the view that Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) should be implemented with immediate effect to avoid further deterioration of overall air quality in the national capital region.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai will convene a high-level meeting today to discuss the implementation of curbs under the final stage of the GRAP.

The GRAP is a set of anti-air pollution curbs to be implemented in Delhi-NCR according to the severity of the situation. It classifies the air quality in the Delhi-NCR under four different stages: stage 1 – “poor” (AQI 201-300), stage 2 – “very poor” (AQI 301-400), stage 3 – “severe” (AQI 401-450) and stage 4 – “severe plus” (AQI above 450).

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