Delhi’s Air Quality On Brink Of ‘Emergency’; Firecrackers Add To Misery

The overall air quality of Delhi has deteriorated and in the higher end of the 'Very Poor' category as of today morning as forecasted.

People in Delhi woke up to a further spike in air pollution as the city continued to remain engulfed in a blanket of smog post-Diwali with the air quality index in ‘severe’ and ‘very poor quality’ at several places on Sunday morning.

The areas around ITO were seen covered in heavy smog and the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 461 here, according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data. Very poor visibility was observed in areas around Civil Lines, Geeta Colony, and ISBT today due to the pollution surge.

A thick blanket of smog was seen at several places across the national capital as the Diwali celebrations came to an end late Saturday night. Meanwhile, the air quality was at 460 at Anand Vihar, 382 at IGI Airport area, 415 at ITO, and 322 at Lodhi Road for PM 10 pollutants.

This comes as many burst firecrackers in violation of the complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital by the Delhi government and the National Green Tribunal.

The sale and bursting of firecrackers were also completely or partially banned in several other States or Union Territories including West Bengal and Telangana to prevent worsening air quality and risking aggravating the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the national capital recorded 7,340 Covid-19 cases in a day taking the infection tally to over 4.82 lakh on Saturday, while 96 more fatalities during the same period pushed the death toll in the city to 7,519, authorities said.

Air pollution may increase the transmissibility of the coronavirus making people more vulnerable to the disease and aggravating the Covid-19 situation, experts had recently said, while warning that those who have had the infection in the past may also have to face new challenges.

The AQI is forecasted to deteriorate further and reach the ‘Severe’ category by Sunday evening. The overall air quality of Delhi has deteriorated and in the higher end of the ‘Very Poor’ category as of today morning as forecasted.

AQI is forecasted to deteriorate further and reach the Severe category by evening today. The stubble burning induced impact in AQI is expected to increase from moderate to high for today.

“Although the level of PM 2.5 is predicted to be at the edge of ‘very poor’ to ‘Severe’ by tonight, it is expected to be much better as compared to the past 4 years around the Diwali period with an assumed scenario of NIL firecracker emission,” as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe. According to experts, the severe category affects the health of people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

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