Stub­ble-burn­ing to worsen Delhi’s air

Over­all pol­lu­tion in ‘se­vere’ cat­e­gory

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - KA­MAL NARANG

Delhi’s pol­lu­tion level re­mained in the ‘se­vere’ cat­e­gory for the sec­ond day, even as au­thor­i­ties warned that the al­ready toxic sit­u­a­tion caused by smoke from fire­works is likely to ag­gra­vate fur­ther due to in­ten­si­fied stub­ble-burn­ing in neigh­bour­ing States.

The over­all air qual­ity in­dex (AQI) was recorded at 421 which falls in the ‘se­vere’ cat­e­gory, ac­cord­ing to data from the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB).

The Cen­tre-run Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity and Weather Fore­cast­ing And Re­search (SAFAR) recorded the AQI at 453.

Farid­abad, Ghazi­abad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded air qual­ity in the “se­vere” cat­e­gory, while Gur­gaon reg­is­tered “very poor” An MCD worker sprays wa­ter on the road to set­tle dust as part of mea­sures against pol­lu­tion in New Delhi on Fri­day

air qual­ity. In the NCR, the high­est AQI was recorded in Farid­abad at 460.

Im­pend­ing threat

SAFAR said the city’s air qual­ity has “im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly” since Thurs­day, but warned that the al­ready toxic sit­u­a­tion caused by

smoke from fire­works is likely to ag­gra­vate fur­ther due to in­ten­si­fied stub­ble­burn­ing in neigh­bour­ing States.

“As per satel­lite images, heavy fire counts were recorded in the last 24 hour and the lat­est SAFAR model re­sults show a move­ment of cold front car­ry­ing heavy air mass to­wards Delhi re­gion,” SAFAR said. Elab­o­rat­ing on it, it said the air in the sur­round­ing stub­ble-burn­ing areas is al­ready heavy due to in­creased mois­ture and pol­lu­tants. This heavy air will travel to­wards Delhi, where a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion ex­ists, in the next 24 hours. This com­bined ef­fect might add to the pol­lu­tion woes.

“There is a pos­si­bil­ity that the wind may pick up at the up­per level, late in the night and push the level of pol­lu­tion and keep it in se­vere zone to­mor­row with in­ten­si­fied fog which will fur­ther trap the pol­lu­tants,” it said.

‘Se­vere pol­lu­tion’

Twenty-six areas in Delhi recorded ‘se­vere’ air qual­ity, while seven areas recorded ‘very poor’ air qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to CPCB data.

On Fri­day, the PM2.5 (par­tic­u­late in the air with a di­am­e­ter of less than 2.5 mi­crome­tres) level was recorded at 303 μgm-3, six times the per­mis­si­ble limit.

The PM10 (par­ti­cles in the air with a di­am­e­ter of less than 10 mi­crome­tres) level was recorded four times the per­mis­si­ble limit at 440 μgm-3, ac­cord­ing to SAFAR.

Goods ve­hi­cles barred

Over 400 heavy and medium goods ve­hi­cles were turned away from Delhi’s borders due to a ban on their en­try, an of­fi­cial said. The en­try of heavy and medium goods ve­hi­cles into the na­tional cap­i­tal was banned for three days be­gin­ning 11 pm on Thurs­day night.

Ac­cord­ing to Joint Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice (Traf­fic) Alok Ku­mar, 1,008 ve­hi­cles were al­lowed en­try into the city from 11 pm on Thurs­day till 6 am on Fri­day be­cause they were car­ry­ing es­sen­tial goods.

As many as 445 ve­hi­cles were re­turned from Delhi borders, he added.

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