Air Quality In Delhi-NCR Reaches The Edge Of Emergency Levels On Jan 1
Air pollution in Delhi on January 1 stood on the brink of the emergency level due to a rapid build-up of particulate matter owing to foggy conditions. According to reports, a massive traffic jam was reported in the Central Delhi area as over 2.5 lakh people gathered at India Gate to mark the first day of the New Year. The day's average air quality index (AQI) was at 400, classified as 'very poor' by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). This number was just one point short of the 'severe' mark and worse than January 1 of 2016 and 2017.
According to SAFAR, an organisation under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the air quality was worse this January 1, compared to 2016 and 2017. During the previous two years, the foggy days were distributed over a longer period of time, it said in an assessment report.
The agency said it was mainly because the spell of dense fog remained concentrated between December 25 and the first week of January this year.
There were also reports of residents of the national capital bursting crackers on the eve of New Year, contributing to the worsening air quality.
The PM2.5 and PM10 levels in the city at 6 pm on January 1 stood at 311 and 471.5 ug/m3 respectively, according to the CPCB. The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) level at air quality stations at Punjabi Bagh and Anand Vihar were reported at 147.47 and 91.97 ug/m3, respectively.
According to the Centre-notified Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), a set of sweeping measures including odd-even and ban on construction activities are to be enforced when PM.2.5 and PM10 turn 300 and 500, respectively, and persist for 48 hours at a stretch.
With inputs from Housing News