Delhi-NCR Air Quality at Emergency Levels

Delhi-NCR Air Quality at Emergency Levels

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 9 a.m. was recorded 403, on a scale of 0 to 500. Delhi Air Pollution: Poor Air Quality Index Detected in Lodhi Road Area, PM 10 Drops to 283.

"Even if 50% of the total load of toxic fire crackers as compared to Diwali previous year is added, the prevailing weather conditions would aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in "severe" category for at least two days (8 and 9 November)", said the report. Authorities have warned of a spike in the pollution levels after Diwali on Wednesday even if "partially toxic crackers" are burnt compared to past year.

The early onset of winter's cool and foggy weather coupled with pollution created by fireworks during Diwali and ongoing high levels of pollution have triggered this situation, experts say. The air quality in Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurugram also was in the "very poor" category on Tuesday at 350, 334, 351 and 309, respectively.

It added that the dispersion of pollutants will not be possible, resulting in increasing levels of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution, in the case of firecrackers.

The SAFAR, or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, under the Ministry of Earth Science, said in a report that Delhi's air quality was expected to deteriorate to the "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali. A SAFAR official said intensified stubble burning was contributing almost 24 percent to the air pollution in Delhi.

According to the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (EPCA), the overall PM10 level in Delhi on Tuesday by the latest measure was 353 and the PM2.5 level was 225, both of which fall in the "very poor" category.

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The World Health Organization estimates poor air quality kills more than a million residents of India every year, and says New Delhi has the worst air of any major city in the world.

"PM 2.5 levels are expected to rise, which will push air quality back to "emergency" on Thursday and Friday if Delhi bursts even 50 percent of firecrackers that it did on last year's Diwali".

"The increase in PM2.5 concentration is due to change in wind direction, decrease in wind speeds and contribution from biomass burning", the IITM said.

The recommendation was made in view of the heavy pollution caused by such vehicles which might add to the woes of the national capital which is already battling alarming levels of pollution, another CPCB official said.

The air quality deteriorated with pollution level breaching the "hazardous" category.

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