Business Standard

Delhi 'very poor' on Friday, study puts vehicular pollution as top reason

Air pollution became worse after people violated a ban and burnt firecrackers on Diwali on November 4, but the problem was compounded by other sources.

Delhi air quality | Delhi Pollution

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Air pollution | Photo: Shutterstock
Air pollution | Photo: Shutterstock

Toxic air shrouded Delhi for another day, making it the second most polluted city on the planet as an environment group’s report said vehicles accounted for 50 per cent of the pollution.

The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was in the 'very poor' category at 8am, according to the state-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). Readings below 50 are considered safe and anything above 300 is hazardous or 'severe'.

Air pollution became worse after people violated a ban and burnt firecrackers on Diwali on November 4, but the problem was compounded by stubble burning by farmers in areas adjoining Delhi.

Green group Centre for (CSE) said that vehicles' comprised half of Delhi's pollution in the early phase of this year's winter, from October 24 to November 8. Vehicular effluents were followed by household pollution (12.5-13.5 per cent), industry (9.9-13.7 per cent), construction (6.7-7.9 per cent), waste burning and road dust, said CSE’s analysis based on real-time data.

Many other places in north India recorded an AQI between 'very poor' and 'severe'.

IQAir, a website which monitors air pollution around the world, had Pakistan’s Karachi on the top of its worst-places list and Delhi next. Kolkata and Mumbai were the other Indian cities on the list.

The toxic air pollution levels underline the risks faced by India as it discusses climate priorities at the global negotiations at the COP26 summit in Glasgow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged last week that the world’s third-worst emitter will aim to reach net-zero by 2070.

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 reported last week.

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First Published: Fri, November 12 2021. 09:54 IST