Delhi’s air quality remains ‘very poor’

Air quality dips in Delhi have slipped with an overall AQI being 309 (very poor) on Saturday. As per the morning data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s Anand Vihar monitoring station recorded the AQI in the “severe” category with an index value of 455 at 8:20 am on Saturday.

Among the monitoring stations that recorded “very poor”/ “severe” air quality were Wazirpur (436), Patparganj (403), Vivek Vihar (428), Punjabi Bagh (424), and Jahangirpuri (436).

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

Pollution levels crept up on the night of October 23 amid a drop in temperature and wind speed and due to people bursting firecrackers and a rise in the number of farm fires.

On October 19, the sub-committee of the Commission for air quality. Management (CAQM) implemented Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) — a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in Delhi and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation in the capital.

GRAP’s Stage II includes banning the use of coal and firewood in hotels, restaurants, and open eateries. The use of diesel generators, except for essential services, is also banned.

GRAP is classified under four stages depending on the air quality in Delhi. Stage I in a case of ‘poor’ air quality.  (AQI 201-300), Stage II for ‘very poor’ air quality, Stage III for ‘severe’ air quality (AQI 401-450), and Stage IV for ‘severe plus’ air quality (AQI>450).

If the situation turns ‘severe’ (Stage III), authorities will enforce a ban on construction and demolition activities in the NCR, except for essential projects (such as railways, metros, airports, and ISBTs).

Yesterday, the centre panel issued closure orders to 24 industrial units in the NCR for grossly violating air pollution-related statutes and guidelines.

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