The downward spiral in Delhi Air Quality is continuing unabated and is inching towards hazardous levels. For the first time in 2018, Delhi Air Quality has plummeted to the “very poor” category on October 17, with many areas in the national capital close to severe levels of air pollution, said the authorities.
Responding to why the Delhi Air quality levels have gone so low, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) says it is due to the following factors: construction activities, vehicular pollution, and meteorological factors. The CPCB also predicts more worsening of Delhi Air Quality in the Delhi-NCR region in the immediate future. Diesel generator sets have already been banned in the national capital Delhi. The step is part of the national capital Delhi’s emergency plan to control air pollution called GRAP, which was formulated to fight the “very poor” and “severe” air pollution levels. It has been in effect from October 15.
Delhi has already encountered 11 days of ‘poor’ air quality in just the first 2 weeks of this month. This is the 2nd year of the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan or Grap, which came into effect since the last year that is 2017. The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA)’s GRAP prescribes a number of urgent measures in order to curb air pollution. The announcement came after Delhi Air Quality became “poor” just a few days back.
Delhi’s Environment Minister Imran Hussain has said that the latest satellite images are showing stubble burning at “dangerous” levels and therefore asserted that it had to be stopped with immediate effect or warned that the entire north India region, including the national capital Delhi, could end up suffering health hazards. In fact, after the ban on diesel generator sets, more drastic steps could be in the offing to bring down air pollution levels in the national capital Delhi. These could include hiking parking fees as well as strengthening public transport system.
Delhi Air Quality Index (AQI) was 315 on October 17, as per the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research. AQI between 0 and 50 is said to be “good”, while between 51 and 100 is deemed “satisfactory“, and if it is between 101 and 200 it is “moderate”. Anything onward of 201 is poor, with 301 and 400 being “very poor”.
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