Air quality index in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon: Delhi and the national capital region’s (NCR) air quality has reached “poor” and “Hazardous” levels even as the Environment Ministry has predicted that the dusty conditions will remain during next two days. Air Quality Index at RK Puram, Mandir Marg, Dwarka, Punjabi Bagh and ITO show it is ‘Hazardous’ category. Air quality in The Rajpath area of the national capital has reached “poor” category with PM 10 standing at 262, according to a report. The haze that was visible throughout the yesterday are quite similar to what we witness during the winter when thick blanket of smog engulfs the area causing traffic delays and impacting health of the residents. The environment ministry cited dust storms from Rajasthan as the predominant factor behind this high pollution level.
The environment ministry has also alerted major construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to ensure water sprinkling, and asked Delhi’s Chief Secretary to issue appropriate instructions in the matter to the agencies concerned. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also convened an urgent meeting of the Task Force regarding implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) today and issued necessary directions to contain local dust sources. “The high pollution levels during this time of the year in Delhi are unusual and primarily due to dust storms from Rajasthan. Rajasthan is facing extremely dry weather conditions, with high temperatures and wind speeds,” a ministry statement said. “CPCB convened an urgent meeting of the Task Force regarding implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) today and issued necessary directions to contain local dust sources. The Task Force has also recommended that public should avoid prolonged exposure,” the Ministry said.
The air quality in Delhi deteriorated beyond the “severe” level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board data showed. The CPCB data showed that the PM10 (particles with diameter less than 10mm) level was beyond “severe” at 778 in Delhi-NCR area and 824 in Delhi particularly, leading to hazy conditions and limiting visibility. The CPCB said the pollution of this season was very different from that of last year. In November last year, both PM2.5 and PM10 had spiked which was posing serious health hazard. However, the current increase in levels of pollution is mainly due to drastic increase in coarse particles in air which has caused a spike in PM10 level but PM2.5 is not as high as that of last year.