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Delhi’s Air Quality Plunges To Severe Category, Kejriwal Govt Says Decision On Artificial Rain In 2-3 Days

Even after four days of Diwali celebration, the air quality of Delhi remains under severe category. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was above 400.

Updated: November 16, 2023 10:15 AM IST

By Joy Pillai

delhi pollution (2)
Delhi’s Air Quality Plunges To Severe Category, Kejriwal Govt Says Decision On Artificial Rain In 2-3 Days

New Delhi: ?The air quality of the national capital remained in the ‘severe’ category on Thursday with smog covering the sky and blocking the sun rays from touching the land. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was above 400. The India Meteorological Department yesterday stated that shallow fog-like conditions are likely to prevail in Delhi next four days. The AQI in Bawana was 442, in Jahangirpuri it was 441, 416 in Dwarka, 412 in Anand Vihar, 412 in ITO, 415 in Alipur, and 401 near the Delhi airport, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai yesterday showed his concern, stating that the pollution situation in the city is being monitored closely and a decision regarding artificial rain as well as the implementation of the odd-even rule will be made over the next two to three days.

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“We will reach this decision (artificial rain and the implementation of odd-even) after observing the situation for the next two to three days. If the pollution escalates to the ‘Severe’ plus category, measures will be implemented to mitigate it,” Rai told the news agency ANI.

The Minister’s remarks come at a time when Delhi is witnessing’severe’ air quality amid unfavourable meteorological conditions.

Notably, the national capital is the most polluted city in the world for several days, as per a Swiss company that specialises in air quality monitoring.

Delhi Air Pollution: Health Advisory

Amid the surging air pollution levels, the Delhi health department recently? released an advisory to address the impact of this environmental concern. The advisory underscores the importance of taking essential measures to safeguard public health, focusing on vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, individuals with underlying medical conditions, children, and the elderly.

Delhi Air Pollution: GRAP 4 Regulations

To curb pollution and ensure adherence to anti-pollution measures, police are inspecting trucks carrying non-essential goods at different borders including the Ghazipur and the Tikri borders, as part of the GRAP 4 regulations. Under Delhi’s air pollution control strategy (GRAP Stage IV), only CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states are permitted to enter the city, excluding those involved in essential services.

Delhi Air Pollution: Artificial Rain

The Delhi government is gearing up for a round of artificial rain in the city on November 20-21 to alleviate the suffering of residents grappling with a sharp decline in air quality over the past week.

Delhi Air Pollution: Reason Behind Deteriorating Air Quality

The air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated in the past week due to dropping temperatures, stagnant winds limiting pollution dispersion, and an increase in post-harvest paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.

Delhi Air Pollution: Weather Condition, Stubble Burning Primary Reasons

Adverse meteorological conditions, along with emissions from firecrackers, stubble burning, and local sources of pollution, combine to push the air quality in Delhi-NCR to hazardous levels during the winter season. According to the news agency ANI, there have been over 2,500 reported cases of stubble burning this year.

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