Delhi’s air quality was “severe” on Friday—a pollution level that’s dangerous for people with respiratory ailment and hurts healthy individuals too.
The detoriation in air quality is being atributed to slow wind speed and falling temperatures. Delhi registering the season's lowest minimum temperature at 7.6 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
The overall air quality index (AQI) in the national capital read 411 at 6 am, while in Ghaziabad and Noida, it was 420 and 425, respectively.
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'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.
On Thursday, a CPCB-led task force asked all agencies in Delhi-NCR to remain on high alert and to take stringent measures to control air pollution.
It asked them to intensify enforcement activities in hot spots and industrial areas and recommended people to minimise the use of private vehicles.
During a review meeting with the implementing agencies on Tuesday, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said December and January have seen a number of days in the "very severe" category in the last three years.
"Similar situation may emerge this year as well, unless timely and adequate field-level preventive action is taken by implementing agencies," it said.
N K Gupta, Additional Director, CPCB, pointed out that a large number of incidents of construction and demolition activities and open dumping of garbage were being reported from some parts of Delhi and neighbouring towns such as Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
"Therefore, municipal corporations in these areas are required to pay greater attention to such polluting activities and take all necessary measures to check air pollution on account of such activities," he said.