Delhi’s air quality level remains ‘severe’ despite improvement

Audrey Hill
November 11, 2018

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is mulling inducing artificial rain in Delhi after Diwali to wash away hazardous pollutants that is plaguing the national capital.

On Wednesday, Delhi's air quality oscillated between "poor" and "very poor" categories. "The contribution of PM2.5 in PM10 which was 75 per cent on Thursday (against normal 55 per cent) has been reducing", the SAFAR said.

It is likely to remain in the "severe" category on Friday and Saturday as the smoke emitted by firecrackers has slowed down the process of pollutant dispersion, a report by government-run agency SAFAR said Thursday.

SAFAR's data showed that PM 2.5 level was more than eight times the permissible limit, while PM 10 was six times the permissible limit. Levels from 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401 and above is "severe".

Last month Delhi s air quality was oscillating between "poor" and "severe" levels but had seen some improvement this week after mild winds swept the region, clearing up the dirty air.

Ambient air quality touched 595 on Thursday morning, according to the USA embassy in Delhi which independently monitors pollution levels.

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The official said they are waiting for meteorological conditions to become stable and then use cloud seeding for inducing artificial rain.

Two of the federal government's indices showed pollution levels at "very poor" and "severe", indicating that prolonged exposure could lead to respiratory illnesses.

Delhiites continued to burst firecrackers on Diwali long after the 10 p.m. deadline set by the Supreme Court.

In the absence of a national policy to tackle air pollution, Aggarwal suggests a Supreme Court-monitored committee empowered to direct across ministries and States, for a coherent approach on issues from automobiles to realty, crackers to stubble burning, besides protection of the country's green spaces - all of which affect the air we breathe.

It comes after revellers defied a Supreme Court order, which restricted the time firecrackers could be released to between 8pm and 10pm on the day of the festival. These included Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens' Delhi, IP extension, Dwarka and Noida Sector 78. It had also allowed manufacture and sale of only "green crackers", which have a low light and sound emission and less harmful chemicals.

In DelhiPolice action for violating fireworks restrictions, 562 cases were registered for violations in general, legal action was taken against 24 juveniles, 72 cases were registered under Explosive Act and 87 persons arrested for illegal sale of firecrackers, reported The Indian Express.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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