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'Severe' air pollution in Delhi, second worst day of the year: Monitors

Authorities say air quality in Delhi and NCR will be "severe" for the next couple of days because of the weather.

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Silhouette of children seen through a layer of dense fog on a cold, winter morning, in New Delhi, Sunday
Silhouette of children seen through a layer of dense fog on a cold, winter morning, in New Delhi, Sunday | Photo: PTI

Delhi's air on Sunday recorded its second worst day of 2018, as authorities said pollution will be "severe" for the next couple of days because of the weather.

The Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) data showed the overall air quality index (AQI) to be "severe" level of 446. System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), another government-run monitor, showed the air was worse at 471.

AQI touched 571 in Delhi on November 8, a day after Diwali and the worst this year. An AQI between 100 to 200 comes under the 'moderate' category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', while that between 401 and 500 is 'severe'.

According to experts, under the 'severe' category, even healthy people find it hard to breathe and doctors advise physical activity to be kept at a minimum.

The CPCB-led task force, during a meeting on Saturday, recommended minimising outdoor exposure for the next couple of days and avoiding use of private vehicles.

On Sunday, 30 areas of the capital recorded 'severe' air quality while it was 'very poor' in six, the said.

Several areas like Ashok Vihar, Anand Vihar and Wazirpur, among others, inched towards the 'severe plus emergency' category, the data showed.

In NCR, Ghaziabad recorded the worst air quality with an AQI of 473. Faridabad and Noida also recorded 'severe' air quality, the said.

In Delhi, the overall PM2.5 level -- fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre -- was recorded at 402 and the PM10 level at 580, the said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said prolonged period of light winds and low temperature are likely to continue for next three to five days, resulting in poor dispersion of pollutants and the air quality may continue to remain in the 'severe' category for the next two to three days.

Officials said they are closely monitoring the situation and if these conditions persist for 48 hours, then stringent action would be taken.

Stringent action includes emergency measures like car rationing and a ban on construction activities.

First Published: Sun, December 23 2018. 14:17 IST
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