Continuing for a third consecutive day, the air quality in the capital remain in the ‘severe’ category on Saturday morning as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city stood at 431.
Even though a slight improvement was noted, a thick layer of smog blanketed the city, majorly due to unfavourable meteorological conditions and farm fires in Punjab.
Earlier, on Friday during the corresponding morning period the AQI of the capital city was recorded at 472. Additionally , areas in the national capital region (NCR) area – Noida and Gurugram at 7 am this morning recorded an AQI of 529 and 478 respectively both in the highly toxic ‘severe’.
Dhirpur in West Delhi recorded an AQI of 534.
On Friday, SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) said that stubble-burning accounted for 34 per cent to Delhi’s particulate matter (PM) 2.5 pollution.
Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.
People of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) complained of choking and ‘eye burning’ due to smog and air pollution leaving people gasping for breath.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann held a press conference on Friday and urged the central government to come forward and lead measures to check severe smog in the national capital region.
Kejriwal and Mann said that the AAP governments are in Punjab and Delhi. This is not the time to raise fingers or abuse each other. If they say, Kejriwal is responsible and we say they are responsible, this will not solve the problem of smog in NCR, they added.
“We do not want to play blame game, we are responsible (for smog in NCR)”, they added.
CM Kejriwal announced that primary schools in Delhi would be closed from November 5.
Besides, the outdoor activity of students of the above fifth standard has been banned.
The Delhi government is also mulling implementing the odd-even norms for plying of vehicles in Delhi to contain the pollution caused by vehicular emission, he added.
However, the forecast predicts that the condition of air quality in Delhi and nearby regions will continue to deteriorate further and expects improvement from November 5.
“Air quality is likely to remain within ‘Severe’ today and likely to improve tomorrow to ‘lower end of Severe’ and from 5th onwards air quality is likely to improve further to ‘Very poor’ due to upper-level wind reversal that prevents inflow of stubble-related pollutants. Higher surface wind speed on 5th Nov is likely to disperse pollutants,” said a press release.
(With Inputs From ANI)