A sudden dip in Delhi’s air quality has pushed the Delhi government to shut primary schools for two days. Neighbouring Gurugram has also taken measures to counter pollution.
Delhi’s pollution levels hit the “severe” mark today for the first time this season, standing at 402 at 5 pm. Scientists have warned of further spike over the next two weeks. At least 18 out of 37 monitoring stations in Delhi recorded Air Quality Index (AQI) in the “severe” category.
The areas where AQI breached the 400-mark include Anand Vihar (450), Bawana (452), Burari Crossing (408), Dwarka Sector 8 (445), Jahangirpuri (433), Mundka (460), NSIT Dwarka (406), Najafgarh (414), Narela (433), Nehru Nagar (400), New Moti Bagh (423), Okhla Phase 2 (415), Patparganj (412), Punjabi Bagh (445), R K Puram (417), Rohini (454), Shadipur (407) and Wazirpur (435).
When the AQI level goes above 400, it is considered ‘severe’. This is when the air pollution can affect healthy people and have a serious impact on those who have existing illnesses.
Data from the Central Pollution Control Board shows Delhi’s air quality in October was the worst since 2020. Meteorologists have attributed it to the lack of rain.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “In light of the rising pollution levels, all govt and private primary schools in Delhi will remain closed for the next 2 days”.
A Central pollution control panel has banned non-essential construction activity in the National Capital Region – which includes Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurugram. The entry of diesel trucks into the city has also been banned.
Gurugram District Magistrate has banned burning waste materials, such as garbage, leaves, plastic, and rubber under a law that makes it a punishable offence..
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called a meeting on Friday to discuss the implementation of stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan. “A meeting of all concerned departments has been called on Friday at 12 pm to discuss the effective implementation of stage III of GRAP,”