Delhi’s air quality recorded in upper level of ‘poor’ category

By: |
October 29, 2021 7:21 PM

Dr V K Soni from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had informed the panel that north-westerly winds will continue until the morning of November 1 and may push the air quality to the "very poor" category.

Notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017, the measures under the GRAP include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping the use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns "very poor". (Representative image)Notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017, the measures under the GRAP include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping the use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns "very poor". (Representative image)

Delhi’s air quality dipped further to the upper level of the “poor” category on Friday as the share of stubble burning in the capital’s PM2.5 pollution rose to 20 per cent, the highest so far this season.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality forecasting agency SAFAR, 1,112 farm fires were observed in the northwest region of Delhi on Thursday.
The Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) data showed the national capital recorded a 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) of 283, Faridabad 289, Ghaziabad 321, Greater Noida 284, Gurugram 262 and Noida 282.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

The Sub-Committee on Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) directed authorities in Delhi and the NCR states on Thursday to stop using diesel generator sets and increase the frequency of bus and metro services.

Dr V K Soni from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had informed the panel that north-westerly winds will continue until the morning of November 1 and may push the air quality to the “very poor” category.

The minimum temperature is likely to drop to 14-15 degrees Celsius with increased moisture, which is unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants.

Considering this, the sub-committee asked Delhi and the NCR states to implement measures in the “very poor” category, in addition to the steps listed in the “poor” and “moderate” AQI categories under the GRAP.

The GRAP — a set of anti-pollution measures followed in Delhi and the towns in its vicinity according to the severity of the situation — comes into force in mid-October, when the air pollution levels start worsening in the region.

Notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017, the measures under the GRAP include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping the use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns “very poor”.

When the situation turns “severe”, the GRAP recommends a closure of brick kilns, stone crushers and hot-mix plants, sprinkling of water, frequent mechanised cleaning of roads and maximising power generation from natural gas.

The measures to be followed in the “emergency” situation include stopping the entry of trucks in Delhi, a ban on construction activities and the introduction of the odd-even car-rationing scheme.

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