Delhi: Air quality improves considerably

Frederick Owens
June 18, 2018

The Central Pollution Control Board says the wind is blowing dust from the desert state of Rajasthan into Delhi.

Delhi's pollution level decreased today but continued to remain in the "severe" category, even as authorities expressed hope that the air quality would improve during the day due to dispersion of pollutants. While the air pollution is being caused by rise in PM10 levels, which is often considered less harmful than PM2.5 particles, it is still a serious matter that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The authorities also warned that dusty conditions were likely to prevail for another 3-4 days and advised people to avoid staying outdoors for long hours. NDTV delivers reliable information across all platforms: TV, Internet and Mobile. "Rajasthan is facing extremely dry weather conditions, with high temperatures and wind speeds", a ministry statement said.

There was a sudden deterioration in air quality as the entire region was under the grip of dust brought by winds from Rajasthan, Iran and southern Afghanistan, officials said.

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Pollution levels reached 30 times the World Health Organization's safe limits in some areas of Delhi a year ago. In November previous year, both PM2.5 and PM10 had spiked which was posing serious health hazard. "The average PM 10 levels were over 800 on Thursday, over four times the average air pollution recorded this month", he said. "Major construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have been alerted to ensure water sprinkling, as required", it said. Where in RK Puram the PM10 level was recorded 999, while in Mandir Marg it was 770, and 347 was recorded in Dwarka. The Environment Ministry too has requested the Delhi chief secretary to issue instructions to the agencies concerned.

In Delhi and National Capital Territory (NCR), the layer of the dust continued on Thursday morning. CPCB has called for an urgent meeting to discuss the implementation of Graded Response Action Plan. "There was a ground-level dust storm in the western part of the country that increased drastically coarser particles in the air, causing a spike in pollution levels in Delhi", he said.

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