The air quality in the national capital is expected to improve slightly on Saturday, November 5, and move to the ‘very poor’ category, according to the data by SAFAR. The AQI, however, continued to plummet on Friday as it entered in the ‘severe/severe plus’ category. At 7 am, the AQI near ITI Jahangirpuri was at 550, 562 in Noida (UP), 539 in Gurugram (Haryana) and 563 near Delhi University. According to the data by SAFAR, the air quality deteriorated significantly due to strong upper level wind blowing towards Delhi from stubble-burning areas in the neighbouring states. The factors at play for poor air: stubble emissions with a fire count of 2,994 contributed 34% to PM2.5 in Delhi; Fine particles contributed to 66% of PM10, the IE reported.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data at 9.10 am today showed that 31 out of 36 monitoring stations recorded “severe” AQI. Anand Vihar and Jahangirpuri were the most polluted places in the capital with AQI at 471 and 485 respectively. The areas that recorded “severe” AQI are Alipur (475), Ashok Vihar (470), Bawana (482), Burari (460), DTU (446), Dwarka (474), ITO (438), Mundka (476), Narela (477), Nehru Nagar (482), Patparganj (435), Rohini (474), Sonia Vihar (472), Vivek Vihar (471) and Wazirpur (475).
GRAP Stage 4 implemented
As the AQI in the national capital entered the ‘severe’ category, stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was set in motion. A central panel on Thursday directed authorities to ban the plying of four-wheeled diesel light, medium and heavy motor vehicles in Delhi and adjoining NCR districts as part of anti-pollution measures under the final stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). BS-VI vehicles and those used for essential and emergency services are exempted from the ban.
According to the order, all industries in the NCR running on fuels apart from those approved for the NCR are to be shut, except for dairy units and those manufacturing medical equipment or drugs. Construction and demolition activities have also been banned.
Moreover, 50% of Delhi government employees will be working from home, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said. Thermal plants are also ordered to shut down.
Schools shut in Delhi from tomorrow
Owing to the deteriorating air quality, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Friday ordered to keep the primary schools shut. Kejriwal announced that from Saturday onwards, classes up to 5th standard will be closed and outdoor activities for classes above fifth standard will be suspended.