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Delhi-NCR still under spell of dense smog

The minimum temperature settled at 13 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A view of Connaught Place, in the heart of New Delhi, encumbered by smog on Friday. Dense smog continued to hang over Delhi-NCR for the fourth day. Photo: Dalip Kumar
A view of Connaught Place, in the heart of New Delhi, encumbered by smog on Friday. Dense smog continued to hang over Delhi-NCR for the fourth day. Photo: Dalip Kumar

Dense smog continued to hang over and the Capital Region (NCR) for the fourth day on Friday, leaving people gasping for breath during the morning hours.

According to the India Meteorological Department, the visibility remained at 1,000 metres at 5:30 am, but dropped to 400 metres at 8:30 am.

The minimum temperature settled at 13 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average. The humidity level recorded at 8.30 am was 93 per cent.

The department said there was a possibility of light winds later in the day, which could clear the smog choking the region.

The capital has been experiencing “severe” air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as levels have breached the permissible standards by multiple times.

The health ministry on Friday directed all the central government-run hospitals to take measures to deal with the increasing number of patients in the wake of severe air in Delhi-NCR. 

Union Health Minister J P Nadda, who reviewed the situation on Friday, directed hospitals to stock nebulisers and other related equipment, and be ready to meet any exigency.

At a meeting with Nadda, experts said the number of cases being reported with breathing troubles and respiratory diseases was varying every day. The statement said the recent increase in air levels in Delhi-NCR had become “a cause of concern”. 

According to the health experts, higher air levels may result in an increase in many diseases — from stroke, heart ailments, lung cancer to chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. 

The Central Control Board (CPCB) on Friday recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 486, on a scale of 500, in the capital.

Meanwhile, describing Delhi’s air as a “problem”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday expressed support for her counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, and said the Centre should discuss with neighbouring states to find a solution.

“Global warming is a problem. a disaster. Instead of blaming each other, I suggest Centre sit with CMs of neighbouring states — Punjab, Haryana — to solve problem. Only to accuse CM is not solution,” Banerjee tweeted.

Former Union minister M Veerappa Moily also called for an immediate dialogue among the Centre, and the neighbouring state governments to discuss ways to improve the air quality in the capital.

The senior Congress leader termed the alarming rise in air as fallout of “financial and administrative problem”.

“It can be tackled if they put their mind on it, instead of getting into the blame game,” the former Karnataka chief minister told PTI.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 11 2017. 01:14 IST
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