Delhi's air quality remains 'severe' for 4th day

Gwen Vasquez
December 27, 2018

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hinted on Tuesday that the state government is willing to re-introduce the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme if needed.

"Although the overall air quality will remain in the "very poor" zone for the next three days, it will improve by a few notches by Thursday as good wind speed prevailing over Delhi and adjoining areas will continue to disperse pollutants", System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said in its daily pollution analysis.

An official of the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said intensified stubble burning is contributing almost 24 per cent of the air pollution in Delhi.

According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the air quality is likely to improve on December 25, but will remain in the upper end of the "very poor to severe" category. We sanctioned one of largest metro phases yesterday.

EPCA advised that industries located in hotspot industrial areas (Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad, Faridabad) be closed and all construction activities in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Noida be stopped.

In 2016, the odd-even scheme was enforced twice - January 1-15 and April 15-30 - when vehicles having odd and even number plates were allowed to operate on alternate days as the air quality deteriorated.

The air quality at certain places in Delhi-NCR showed considerable improvement.

Delhi, along with other metropolitan states, has been reeling under bouts of pollution for the last couple of days as the notoriously sub-standard air quality has become even more pernicious.

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Mr. Tiwari alleged that Mr. Kejriwal had made many poll promises to control pollution, including mechanical cleaning of roads, sprinkling of water, tree plantation, banning construction work and installing air purifiers, but the Delhi government had "failed" at fulfilling "any of them".

The air quality index value on Tuesday was recorded at 403, down from 448 on Monday.

At Lodhi road, the AQI (Air Quality Index) was 315 with PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 at 8.30 am.

The agencies concerned have also been asked to ensure strict action against illegal industries and make all efforts to control polluting activities, particularly waste burning.

Delhi's air quality had turned "severe" on Saturday.

The low temperatures and high moisture level contributed to keeping pollution levels high on Tuesday.

In some parts of Delhi, pollution levels hit 654 on Monday, among the worst recorded this year, and visibility in some parts of the city was just 200 metres, the weather department said.

He asked all the stakeholder departments and agencies to remain prepared to take mandated actions under the "very poor" and the "severe/ severe plus" categories of air quality index in Delhi.

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