Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Delhi Air quality dips, close to 'severe' zone

Delhi Air quality dips, close to 'severe' zone

The Capital's struggle with air pollution got global attention on Sunday as mask-wearing Sri Lankan cricketers laid bare the bitter reality of the city's "very poor" air quality, which is toxic enough to trigger serious respiratory ailments.

The National Green Tribunal pulled up the authorities on Monday for holding the India-Sri Lanka Test match at a stadium in Delhi amid hazardous air quality in the region.

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"Situation is getting from poor to worst, children are suffering and the Delhi Govt has not even filed its action plan". The overall Air Quality Index was recorded at 391, a sharp rise from Sunday's 351. During the hearing, the Delhi government said it needed more time to file the action-plan as the chief secretary and environment secretary have recently been changed.

Otherwise, we could reach a stage where, at the annual Republic Day ceremonies in Delhi, not just the spectators but the foreign heads of state who are invited by the Prime Minister are all forced to wear anti-pollution masks! Are people of Delhi supposed to bear this? "You can not subject people to this". If PM2.5 and PM10 levels persist over 300 and 500 g/m³, respectively, for 48 hours, then "emergency" measures like a ban on construction and entry of trucks into Delhi will have to be enforced. The corresponding prescribed standards are 60 and 100. Air quality is at its worst in the early mornings and evenings. The AQI was 390, on a scale of 500, around 3.30 p.m. On Monday, while the overall AQI was "very poor", several monitoring stations came under the "severe" category. However, it is menacingly close to the "severe" category. The Air quality was around 200 near the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium which is considered poor. Pollution levels have increased over the last few days because of high moisture due to cyclone Ockhi, which is moving towards Gujarat.

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Meanwhile, the city recorded a high of 23.9 degrees Celsius, a low of 8 degrees Celsius, a MeT department official said.

Humidity has risen from 44.3 per cent to 51 per cent while average temperature has dipped by about two degrees since November 27.

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The weatherman has predicted partly cloudy sky tomorrow. The maximum and minimum temperature would be around 24 and 9 degrees Celsius respectively, according to the weather department.

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