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Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' ahead of Diwali

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Delhi's air quality deteriorated sharply on Monday to fall in the severe category for the second time within a week due to a change in direction and rampant in neighbouring states, authorities said.

The overall air quality index on Monday was registered in the severe category at 418, a drastic decline from a day before when the AQI was moderate at 171.

A thick haze has engulfed the national capital two days ahead of Diwali, following which, experts have warned, the air quality is likely to worsen further due to local factors.

On Sunday, Delhiites had breathed the cleanest air in three weeks, according to Board data. The air quality turned severe for the first time this season on October 30.

Also, the PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) and PM10 concentrations spiked to 'severe-plus emergency' category at 361 and 500 respectively, according to CPCB data.

Officials attributed the sudden deterioration to a change in direction, now blowing from the northwestern region towards Delhi, bring with it dust and smoke from in neighbouring states.

An with the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research said intensified is presently contributing nearly 24 per cent of the air pollution in the national capital.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, too, said the increase in PM2.5 concentration is due to a change in the direction and because of contribution from biomass burning.

The increase in pollution levels comes despite strict control measures imposed by the government in

It has launched an aggressive 10-day 'Clean Air Campaign' from November 1 to monitor and report polluting activities and ordered halting of construction activities and regulating vehicular traffic.

Civil construction has been suspended in and surrounding areas of the National Capital Region. All stone crushers and hot mix plants generating dust pollution have also been closed.

The Committee has directed the transport department and the traffic police to intensify their drive against polluting vehicles until November 10.

Minister said Monday that no leniency would be shown to those who are violating pollution-control norms. He again warned that legal actions were being initiated against people violating regulations.

has blamed stubble burning in as the main reason behind the current cycle of air pollution in Delhi. On Sunday, Chief Minister termed his claim "nonsense".

But NASA registered a large number of counts in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sirsa and other areas of and

Also, enforcement data provide in response to an RTI query by activist activist has showed that despite the deregistering 40 lakh old vehicles to curb air pollution, only 3,196 vehicles have been impounded, which is less than 1 per cent of the total.

Two agencies are responsible for enforcing the ban on 15-year old petrol vehicles and 10-year old diesel vehicles imposed by the in 2014 Delhi traffic police and transport department of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 16:45 IST
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