AQI slips to ‘severe’ category : EPCA to watch air quality for next 48 hours

AQI slips to ‘severe’ category : EPCA to watch air quality for next 48 hours
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Delhis air quality worsened further and slipped into severe category on Monday as heavy stagnant air prevented dispersion of pollutants, according to authorities

New Delhi: Delhi's air quality worsened further and slipped into 'severe' category on Monday as heavy stagnant air prevented dispersion of pollutants, according to authorities.

Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority chairperson Bhure Lal said they were monitoring the situation and if severe conditions persist for 48 hours then stringent action, as prescribed under the Graded Response Action Plan, would be implemented.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 412 which falls in the 'severe' category. Stringent actions include emergency measures like odd-even car rationing scheme.

A ban on construction activities would be automatically enforced in the city if PM 2.5 level breaches 300 micrograms per cubic metre and PM 10 level stays above 500 micrograms per cubic metre for two consecutive days.

Under the 'severe' category, even healthy people find it harder to breathe and doctors advise physical activity to be kept at a minimum.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the overall air quality of Delhi will further deteriorate over the next two days.

"Values are likely to remain in the same range until Tuesday which is likely to decline by Wednesday. Calm surface winds are not allowing pollutants to disperse," it said.

Lal conducted inspections at Bawana and Narela and said 45,000 tonnes of garbage was removed and one vacant land where garbage burning was taking place was found during inspection.

"I will bring this point to the meeting before LG and vice-chairperson of the DDA will also be there.

This waste burning on vacant land was reported by people there and grievances of industrialists were also heard," he said, adding, he would conduct an inspection at Anand Vihar on Tuesday.

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