The air quality index (AQI) touched dangerous levels of 625 pushing the national capital back into the severe plus category after a brief respite on Saturday evening.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. Above 500 falls in the ‘severe-plus emergency’ category.
While the Met Department had indicated some relief on Sunday, it has not materialised with the envelope of haze trapping the pollutants reducing visibility.
There was some relief after sporadic rains on Saturday as the AQI fell below 400. If the current spike persists, the next move will be to ban plying of non-essential trucks in the Delhi-NCR region.
The odd-even scheme on plying of vehicles will kick-off in Delhi from Monday which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced weeks back. The timing has turned out to be apt for the dangerous air quality prevailing in the capital.
According to Safar India, the PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels were both in the severe category at 648 and 475 respectively, implying hazardous levels. These AQI levels are hazardous for everyone and the advisory is to avoid outdoor activity.
Meanwhile, Noida District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh has announced schools both government and private to be shut for two days till November 5. Delhi had announced schools to be shut down till November 5, following the announcement of the public health emergency.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took to twitter to express his concern, “Pollution has reached unbearable levels across N India. Del govt taken many steps. Delhiites hv made many sacrifices. Del suffering for no fault of theirs. Punjab CM also expressd concern. Centre shud take immediate steps 2 provide relief. V will support Centre in all initiatives.”
Pollution has rched unbearable levels across N India. Del govt taken many steps. Delhiites hv made many sacrifices. Del suffering for no fault of theirs. Punjab CM also expressd concern. Centre shud take immediate steps 2 provide relief. V will support Centre in all initiatives https://t.co/Vx85xYlDId
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 3, 2019
In a notice, Singh said that the use of buses and private vehicles for ferrying children to schools escalates the number of vehicles on the roads leading to more pollution. He said that the Uttar Pradesh pollution authorities have detected high levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Noida with the increase in air pollution.
At least 32 flights have been diverted from Delhi towards Jaipur, Amritsar, and Lucknow, news agency PTI reported. Air India also said that 12 of its flights have been diverted due to bad weather conditions.
The Environment Pollution Control Authority in its advisory on public health emergency has cautioned on outdoor exposure, especially for children and the aged population. All construction activities and polluting industries have been shut down till November 5.