Delhi's air remained polluted on Thursday as the state government issued a notice protesting construction work at the Central Vista project site despite its ban on demolitions and building.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) was 342 --'very poor'-- at 8 am, according to the state-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). Readings below 50 are considered safe, while anything above 300 is considered hazardous or 'severe'.
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai asked the the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to respond to the ongoing construction at the Central Vista project site despite a ban by Thursday. "We will ask the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to issue a notice to the CPWD, asking it the reason for continuing the construction work despite restrictions because of air pollution," he said.
The Delhi government has banned construction and demolition activities in the national capital to control the high air pollution levels.
Delhi was this morning the world's most polluted city with an AQI of 382, said iQair, a website that tracks air pollution worldwide. The other Indian city on the website’s list of 10 was Kolkata being the third most polluted city worldwide with an AQI of 189.
After Diwali on November 4, Delhi's air quality became worse as people violated a ban on bursting firecrackers while the pollution compounded due to an increase in stubble burning by farmers in areas adjoining the national capital.
Air pollution costs Indian businesses $95 billion or roughly 3 per cent of its GDP every year, according to U.K.-based non-profit Clean Air Fund and the Confederation of Indian Industry, Bloomberg has reported.