Three days post Diwali Delhi suffers because of severe pollution
Three days after the festival of Diwali, the capital’s air quality has continued to be in the “severe” category despite of the experts predicting that it would improve to “very poor” by Wednesday.
As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), levels of the Particulate Matter (PM) 10 levels breached the 500 mark in Delhi. Further, with no wind to disperse pollutants, pollution has remained trapped close to the ground.
According to officials, air quality is further expected to remain ‘severe’, though below the 500 mark, on Thursday. The levels on Friday might see a slight improvement, with a PM 10 levels expected to drop closer to 400.
Air quality at all of SAFAR’s centres has remained “severe” and is further expected to remain so on Thursday.
The National Air Quality Index also has reported air quality in Delhi at “severe”, with a PM 2.5 being the prominent pollutant.
Meanwhile, in Gurugram a thick haze has engulfed the city all through Wednesday, with the officials confirming it was smog as opposed to the misconception that it could be fog.
“The concentration of PM 2.5 in the air has also increased steadily over the last three days. Its prescribed standard is a reading of 60, but in the last 24 hours, between the time of 6 pm on Tuesday and 6 pm on Wednesday, the average reading has been 445.86. In the 24 hours prior to that, the reading was 322.55,” said an official of the Haryana Pollution Control Board. “This gives a sense of the seriousness of the situation,” he added.
Govt cancels pollution meet following Sisodia’s detention
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday had to cancel a Cabinet meeting, which was scheduled to further deliberate on measures in order to control air pollution, following the detention of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The minister had been detained by police while he was on his way to meet the family of an ex-serviceman who committed suicide over the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP).
“We are having to postpone the Cabinet meeting. Why? Because the Centre has resorted to hooliganism,” said Kejriwal.