Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Delhi’s Air Quality Deteriorates To ‘Severe’ Ahead Of Diwali

Delhi’s Air Quality Deteriorates To ‘Severe’ Ahead Of Diwali

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), air-quality across the National Capital Region (NCR) remained "very poor" on Monday.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has urged Delhiites to use public transport for the first 10 days of November to keep a check on pollution.

Four areas in Delhi marked "severe" air quality whereas 29 areas recorded "very poor" air quality, as per a CPCB data.

Amita Wattal, principal of Springdales, Pusa Road in Delhi, said the school is organising campaigns to make students aware of the hazards due to fire crackers ahead of Diwali.

The top court is seized of matters in which several issues related to air pollution in the Delhi-NCR have been raised.

Anumita Roychowdhury, an executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment think-tank, said that in two particularly bad states farmers burn stubble in their fields to prepare for winter planting.

Air pollution in Delhi and nearby states increases particularly due to burning of paddy straw during October and November and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana. The WHO has confirmed that air pollution, both ambient and indoor, is the largest cause of death worldwide.

Another official said if the air quality continues to remain in the "severe" category for 48 hours, they would consider implementing more regulations.

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

It is to be noted that private vehicles contribute to 40 percent of pollution in Delhi NCR and there about 35 lakh private vehicles in Delhi NCR region.

The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), an emergency government initiative to try and improve conditions, has also launched around Delhi.

Harsh Vardhan underlined that despite a decrease in incidents of stubble burning by 30 per cent from the previous year, more needed to be done, while asking the Delhi government to ensure 100 per cent stoppage of open burning of domestic and industrial wastes.

The CPCB has on Thursday put up guidelines for the public to file complaints of air pollution in Delhi-NCR on its social media page, website, and through its mobile application. So, as vehicle owners, you can do your part to combat air pollution.

Other measures include halt on all construction activities involving excavation. All stone crushers and hot mix plants generating dust pollution have also been closed. "We have not encountered such an overnight spike in the last three years at least", said an official of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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