Air quality severe for fourth day in Delhi, likely to improve today

Air quality severe for fourth day in Delhi, likely to improve today

The pollution prompted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday to announce that the Delhi government will, if needed, bring back the controversial odd-even rule that allows only half of Delhi's private cars to run on alternate days.

According to the SAFAR, the overall air quality over Delhi is "very poor". The air quality index (AQI), the overall marker for the city's air pollution was 409 while on Monday it had touched 450. 300-400 is considered as "very poor" and range between 401-500 falls under the category as "hazardous".

Ministry of Earth Science agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) said Tuesday that meteorological conditions are becoming slowly favourable and severity of air pollution is on a decline.

"Traffic police to deploy special teams and ensure congestion-free traffic flow particularly in identified high traffic corridors".

"But the good news is that speed of surface wind has improved, which may help in dispersing the pollutants", he said.

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

The air quality is likely to remain in the "severe" category for the next couple of days due to unfavourable meteorological conditions.

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A Delhi government official blamed the pollution for lighter-than-usual traffic on already holiday-thinned streets, while a Delhi airport official said some domestic and worldwide flights were delayed for up to two hours due to poor visibility.

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, intensify ground action and make all efforts to control polluting activities, particularly waste burning.

The index on Tuesday was 5,000 sqm/second on Tuesday, the IITM said. "Only a nominal amount has been spent to reduce pollution out of crores collected in the name of environmental compensation cess from commercial vehicles entering Delhi", he alleged. "People having a cardio-respiratory problem, children and pregnant women have to take care of their health in pollution", said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi.

Experts advised against all physical activities outdoors and prescribed the use of N-95 or P-100 respirators when stepping out.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said biomass burning is also contributing to the spike in PM2.5 concentration.

The ventilation index is the speed at which pollutants can get dispersed. A ventilation index lower than 6,000 sqm/second, with average wind speed less than 10 kmph, is unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants.

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