Air quality topples again after slight improvement
After a slight improvement on Saturday morning, Delhis air quality again turned severe by evening due to unfavourable weather conditions and significant increase in pollution from stubble burning, authorities said
New Delhi: After a slight improvement on Saturday morning, Delhi's air quality again turned 'severe' by evening due to unfavourable weather conditions and significant increase in pollution from stubble burning, authorities said.
The pollution level had dipped marginally on Saturday morning with air quality index of 394 but by evening the pollution again dropped from 'very poor' category to 'severe' level and an AQI of 403 was recorded.
On Saturday, the PM 2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) level was recorded at 261 while the PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) was recorded at 416 in Delhi, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Twenty areas in Delhi recorded severe air quality while 15 areas recorded very poor air quality, according to the CPCB. Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Greater Noida recorded severe air quality while Noida and Gurgaon recorded very poor air quality, according to the CPCB.
According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the increase in PM 2.5 concentration is due to stable meteorological conditions, trapping of pollutants in Delhi (very less dispersion) and significant increase in contribution from stubble burning.
Stubble burning in neighbouring states of Delhi on Thursday was the "largest-ever recorded" this year which might lead to a further deterioration in the already "severe" air quality of the national capital, the IITM said Friday. It said about 2,100 fire counts were observed on Thursday over north western region of India.
The air quality in Delhi has been severe for the past two days with the highest pollution level of the year recorded a day after Diwali on Thursday at an AQI of 642.
Ban extended by EPCA till tomorrow
The Environment Pollution Control Authority on Saturday extended the ban on construction activities, industries using coal and biomass, and entry of trucks till November 12 due to high pollution levels in Delhi.
The ban was extended by the Supreme Court-appointed agency on the recommendations of a Central Pollution Control Board-led task force, which reviews the national capital's air quality.
"It was observed that PM2.5 concentrations have been exceeding 300 µg/m3. As such the 'severe +' situation has continued for 37 hrs.
Therefore, the task force recommends that ban on construction activities, industries using coal and biomass and entry of trucks, which are in force, should continue till November 12, 2018," the task force has recommended to the EPCA.
Earlier the ban on construction activities and industries using coal and biomass was imposed till Saturday and that on entry of heavy vehicles till Sunday.
The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) agreed to the recommendations of the task force and has directed authorities to extend the ban till November 12.
"The EPCA has written to authorities concerned, to extend the ban on construction activities, industries using coal and biomass and entry of trucks till November 12," a member of the agency said.
Special emphasis has also been given to extend the closure of the Mundka industrial area where during inspection, massive amounts of industrial waste was found, he said.