Pollution levels in the national capital surged on Tuesday morning as the air quality remained in the 'severe' category. A day after high wind speed helped bring down pollution levels in the city, SAFAR, the government-run monitoring agency, said Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) was 411 at 7:00 am. Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad too recorded 'severe' overall air quality.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe.
Above 500 is severe-plus emergency category.
The AQI of four places in and around Delhi has been provided in the table given below.
The odd-even scheme, which kickstarted on Monday has entered Day 2 with only odd-numbered non-transport vehicles allowed on Delhi roads.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), Noida (493) and Gurugram (405), also breathed polluted air.
Taking a grim view of the surge in pollution levels, the Supreme Court yesterday slammed authorities for failing to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR and said they have left people to die.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta took serious note of crop burning in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh and said it cannot go unabated every year.
"Can we survive in this atmosphere? This is not the way we can survive," the bench said. The bench called the pollution in Delhi-NCR as atrocious and said no one is safe even inside homes.
The Centre, in response said that the number of 'good' to 'moderate' days increased to 175 in 2019 against 157 in 2018. According to the Centre, the bursting of firecrackers during Diwali, stubble burning and adverse meteorology conditions exacerbated the pollution level in Delhi-NCR.
Passing a slew of other directions to prevent rise in air pollution levels, it imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on anyone carrying out construction and demolition activity in Delhi-NCR, and a fine of Rs 5,000 on offenders involved in garbage or waste burning. The Bench said it had “no sympathy for farmers indulging in it (stubble burning) as they are putting lives of others at risk”.