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National Capital's Air Quality Index Crosses 500, Remains In "Severe" Category
The air quality in Delhi is depleting day by day as the pollution levels in parts of Delhi remain in the "severe+" category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossing 500 this morning.
- All India I RIDHIMA SETIA
- Posted by
- November 02, 2019 12:27 IST
National Capital's Air Quality Index Crosses 500, Remains In "Severe" Category (file image)
New Delhi: The air quality in Delhi is depleting day by day as the pollution levels in parts of Delhi remain in the "severe+" category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossing 500 this morning. This comes after the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) declared a public health emergency across the National Capital Region on Friday, with pollution levels entering the "emergency" category for the first time since January.
The agency had advised people to refrain from exercising in the open until further notice and encouraged the wearing of breathing masks when venturing outdoors. It also shut down all construction activity till Tuesday and banned the bursting of firecrackers during the winter. In addition, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also directed all schools to be shut till Tuesday and confirmed the "odd-even" scheme would come into effect from Monday.
Air quality in Delhi has plummeted post-Diwali, which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said was the "lowest in five years". According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Delhi recorded an AQI of 412 on Friday morning, which fell in the "very severe" category.
Mr Kejriwal, who blamed the governments of Haryana and Punjab for "forcing farmers to burn stubble" that led to the problem, has described the city as a "gas chamber".
Data from SAFAR shows that stubble burning in those two states contributed 46 per cent of the haze and air pollution in Delhi-NCR on Friday alone; the highest so far this year.
"The effective stubble fire counts of northwestern India (Haryana and Punjab) is showing an increasing trend and on its peak value of this year (3,178) which has increased its share significantly to 46 per cent," a SAFAR official was quoted in a report by news agency IANS.
That figure was 24 per cent on Thursday and 35 per cent on Wednesday. In addition, according to SAFAR data gathered between Tuesday and Wednesday, the number of fires had doubled in a 48-hour period - from 1,200 to 2,700.
On Friday Mr Kejriwal urged school students to write to "Captain uncle and Khattar uncle", referring to Captain Amarinder Singh and Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana, respectively. "Please write letters to Captain uncle and Khattar uncle and say, 'Please think about our health'," he said while distributing breathing masks.
The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal was attacked by Captain Amarinder Singh and Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. Congress leader calling the Delhi Chief Minister a "liar" and Mr Javadekar accusing him of playing blame-games over pollution levels.
The national capital is one of the world's most polluted cities and each winter, seasonal crop stubble burning, dense cloud cover and smoke from millions of Diwali firecrackers turn its skies a putrid yellow.
(With input from IANS, ANI)
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