Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' ahead of Diwali

Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' ahead of Diwali

Delhi's air quality continues to alarm its citizen with it remaining in the very poor category on Friday despite several measures being implemented in the national capital ahead of Diwali, when massive pollution is expected to hit the city.

CPCB's central control room data showed how the pollution levels spiked in a matter of hours.

The advisory, written by Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA, to Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan says, "There has been a significant intrusion of bio-mass (stubble) generated pollution early morning today owing to faster transport level winds (925hpa) coming from the North-West region".

The Delhi government also told the Supreme Court on Thursday that out of 1.10 crore vehicles registered in the national capital, 40 lakh "overage" vehicles - more than 15 years old in case of petrol and over 10 years old for diesel - have been de-registered by the transport department. Although the government response is definitely better than the last few years, due to the establishment of the government-run National Clean Air Program, "the solution to the problem can not be just in reacting when the problem is beyond control", he said.

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All construction activities involving excavation, civil construction (excluding internal finishing/work where no construction material is used) to remain closed in NCR districts from November 1 to 10, the letter stated. Media reports said Bhure Lal, the chairperson of the Environment Pollution Control Authority, has warned that the authority may ban all private vehicles if the pollution level does not come down to the permissible level.

Delhi authorities have stepped up efforts to combat pollution which includes measures like halting construction activities and regulating traffic. Other complaints included that of vehicular emission, traffic congestion, industrial emission, open or garbage burning, leaf burning, road dust, unpaved road, fire in landfill sites, air pollution from generators among others, it said.

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An aggressive 10 day-long "Clean Air Campaign" was also launched by Harsh Vardhan.

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In NCR, at 4 AM, the AQI was 435 in Ghaziabad, 425 in Greater Noida, 433 in Noida, and 421 in Faridabad, with 401 to 500 considered "severe".

Pollution in Delhi has spiked to 24 times the safe level - amid fears it could get even worse due to firecrackers set off for Diwali. Cricketers and footballers who are in Delhi playing top division domestic matches have complained of sickness due to the worsening air quality in the capital.

Twenty eight out of 34 monitoring stations across Delhi reported "very poor" air quality on Saturday.

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