Delhi experienced poor air quality for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, with little improvement expected in the coming days, as reported by monitoring agencies.
At 10 am, the city’s average Air Quality Index (AQI) was 238, deteriorating from 220 on Tuesday at 4 pm. Neighboring areas also reported varying AQI levels: 196 in Ghaziabad, 258 in Faridabad, 176 in Gurugram, 200 in Noida, and 248 in Greater Noida.
The Centre’s Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi indicated that the air quality is likely to fluctuate between poor and very poor categories over the next four to five days.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, while 51 to 100 is satisfactory, 101 to 200 is moderate, 201 to 300 is poor, 301 to 400 is very poor, and 401 to 500 is severe.
The decline in air quality was attributed to a decrease in temperature and wind speed, allowing pollutants to accumulate.
Additionally, incidents of firecracker burning on Dussehra worsened the situation. To tackle the issue, Delhi had implemented a ban on firecrackers and plans to reintroduce a public awareness campaign, ‘Patakhe Nahi Diye Jalao’.
The city government identified pollution hotspots and will deploy special teams to address pollution sources. Measures to prevent dust pollution, including the use of suppressant powder containing chemicals like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, were announced. Furthermore, a campaign to reduce vehicular pollution, called “Red Light On Gaadi Off”, will resume after being put on hold for a year.
The Commission for Air Quality Management directed authorities to increase parking fees, encouraging the use of public transport like CNG or electric buses and metro trains. Delhi’s government had recently launched a 15-point action plan to mitigate winter air pollution, focusing on dust pollution, vehicular emissions, and open burning of garbage. (With inputs from PTI)