Delhi’s air quality remains severe for second day

New Delhi, Dec 11:Delhi’s air quality remained in the “severe” category for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as low wind speed prevented dispersion of pollutants even as authorities predicted further deterioration.

                Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) Chairperson Bhure Lal said they were monitoring the situation and if severe conditions persisted for 48 hours, stringent action, as prescribed under the Graded Response Action Plan, would be implemented.

                The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 411 which falls in the “severe” category.

                The AQI on Monday was recorded at 412.

                On Tuesday, neighbouring Ghaziabad, Noida and Faridabad also recorded “severe” air quality. Ghaziabad’s air quality was the worst at an AQI of 429, the CPCB data showed.

                Gurgaon recorded “very poor” air quality, the CPCB data said.

                An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor” and 401 and 500 “severe”.

                Twenty-one areas in Delhi recorded “severe” air quality and nine areas recorded “very poor” air quality, according to the CPCB.

                Rohini and Wazirpur edged towards “severe plus emergency” category with an AQI of 471 and 472 respectively, the CPCB data showed.

                Under the “severe” category, even healthy people find it hard to breathe and doctors advise physical activity to be kept at a minimum. Authorities said they are closely monitoring the situation.

                The overall PM2.5 level — fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre — was recorded at 261 and the PM10 level at 450, it said.

                The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the overall air quality of Delhi will further deteriorate over the next two days.

                It said the air quality might improve on Wednesday if sufficient amount of rainfall occurs, which is expected.

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