Thick fog engulfs Delhi, air quality enters Hazardous category

Delhi-NCR To Observe'Clean Air Week From November 1-5

Doctors claim that the impact of air pollution on public health can be compared to smoking 15-20 cigarettes a day.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) data said, the PM10 level in Delhi stood at 333, while predicting that the AQI of Delhi-NCR would continue to fall under "very poor" category for the next three days.

The overall air quality index of Delhi on Wednesday was recorded at 366 by the CPCB.

AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor" and 401-500 "severe". On Monday, the AQI was recorded at 434 which falls in the "severe" category and was the highest of the season.

The air quality in Delhi-NCR Wednesday oscillated between poor and very poor categories.

Wind direction changed a couple of days ago and it was coming from the eastern direction which meant it was not coming directly from Punjab and Haryana region where stubble burning is prevalent.

The SAFAR has forecasted worse quality air for Wednesday evening and Thursday.

He was addressing mediaperson in New Delhi after a detailed review meeting with NCR Ministers and Senior officers on implementation of Air Pollution Control Action Plan for NCR.

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Winds blowing from the northwest have been carrying biomass-burning pollutants, according to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.

"The highest levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 11pm and 3am on the night of 7-8 November". A total penalty of Rs 80 lakh was imposed on the violators on Friday and Saturday by the teams deployed to monitor implementation of measures to combat pollution in Delhi-NCR under the campaign.

Despite the Supreme Courts directives, people in Delhi-NCR on Wednesday continued to burst crackers on Diwali well past the 10 p.m. deadline though the air quality index (AQI) showed a slight improvement over a year ago.

The UK government has submitted a voluntary commitment to step up its efforts to tackle air pollution across the country at the final High Level Action Day of the conference today. Commuters and joggers faced discomfort following poor air quality in the morning.

The deterioration of air quality comes ahead of Diwali when a further spike in pollution is expected to hit the city.

Some of them said pollution masks were proving ineffective as the air quality has turned "severe", forcing them to visit hospitals to seek treatment for breathlessness, allergy and irritation.

"The new trend in Delhi to disperse pollutants much faster from one extreme as compared to previous year (has been) witnessed in this winter, which means that accumulated pollutants are getting more free path than earlier".

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