Thick blanket of haze shrouds Delhi as air quality hits ‘severe’ levels

- November 6, 2023
| By : Mohd Shehwaaz Khan |

With AQI above 400, toxic smog envelops the Capital, prompting emergency measures and health concerns

SMOG HIT: Delhi’s iconic monuments are covered by haze as high levels of pollution are disrupting their view

Delhi’s skyline has once again become hazy with air pollution levels surging above 400 air quality index (AQI), pushing the air quality in many areas into the ‘severe’ category.

The 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4 pm each day, deteriorated from 415 on November 4 to 454 on November 5. This increase prompted the Centre to enforce all emergency measures mandated under the final Stage IV of its air pollution control plan, known as the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

“Keeping in view the prevailing trend of air quality, and in an effort to prevent further deterioration of air quality in the region, the Sub-Committee today has taken the call to invoke all actions as envisaged under Stage IV of GRAP ‘Severe Air Quality (Delhi’s AQI 450), today with immediate effect in the entire NCR,” CAQM stated in a release.

Toxic smog continued to linger over Delhi, leading many to forgo their morning walks, sports, and other outdoor activities. However, a few individuals still ventured outdoors to exercise.

Vijay Sharma, who usually takes a morning walk near India Gate, said, “Just like my everyday routine, I have come out today as well, for a quick morning walk. But today I had to come with a mask. In the last two days, air quality has really dipped.”

Pointing towards India Gate, he expressed that the hazy visual of the monument is a clear indicator of the terrible AQI meters.

Several people were observed pausing to capture photographs of the hazy India Gate and other monuments in Central Delhi.

Earlier on November 2, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the closure of all government and private primary schools for the next two days in line with the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). Additionally, it mandated a ban on non-essential construction work and specific categories of polluting vehicles.

However, due to the persistent pollution level, Delhi education minister, Atishi announced on X, that primary schools in Delhi will remain closed till November 10. For Grade 6-12, schools are being given the option of shifting to online classes.”

According to the experts, the pollution is likely to persist for the next two days. However, on Tuesday evening Delhiites might experience some respite due to western Disturbance.

“From Tuesday (November 7) onwards the wind speed is likely to improve. However, similar conditions are likely to prevail till November 11. The wind speed is predicted to get better after November 11, 2023” said Kuldeep Srivastava from the Indian Meteorological department on the western disturbances, which are likely to improve air quality in the city.

The hazardous haze has been significantly impacting individuals with pre-existing respiratory issues, according to medical professionals.

Here are some of the visuals: