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Delhi, NCR records ‘severe’ air quality as pollution increases

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The air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas were rated as ‘severe’ on Saturday as people defied a ban on Diwali firecrackers aggravating pollution.

This coupled with the burning of farm waste in neighbouring states also aggravated the situation with a thick smog enveloping the entire city and reducing visibility.

The city recorded an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of 414 on Saturday which is categorised as ‘severe’. The 24-hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.

Weather officials said stubble burning accounted for 32% of the city’s PM2.5 pollution.

Almost all areas in Delhi logged PM2.5 levels above 400 with many recording close to the 500 level.

This comes amid the city grappling with a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said a small increase in local additional emissions will further deteriorate air quality on Sunday and Monday.

Delhi recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 337 on Diwali last year (October 27), and 368 and 400 in the next two days. Pollution levels in the city were in the ‘severe’ category for three days.

As per the weather department, a fresh western disturbance is likely to increase wind speed and improve the air quality in Delhi post-Diwali.

What was NGT order in view of Delhi pollution

Earlier The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight given the pollution.

NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the direction applied to all cities and towns which had in 2019 recorded an AQI in the poor and above category.

 

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