On November 3, there was a substantial deterioration in air quality in Delhi-NCR, exceeding the ‘400’ threshold on a scale of 500, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching alarming levels at various locations.
Prominent areas such as Anand Vihar station, Punjabi Bagh station, and Mundka station registered AQI levels categorized as ‘severe,’ surpassing the 400 AQI limit, as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). In response to this situation, non-essential construction activities were prohibited, and primary schools in the capital were closed, effective from the previous evening. To address this issue, restrictions have been imposed on diesel and petrol vehicles in and around Delhi.
Government agencies have issued warnings that pollution levels in Delhi-NCR could further deteriorate over the next 15-20 days due to an increase in farm fires, coupled with an expected decrease in temperature and air speed. The national capital was veiled in a smoky haze on Thursday, and this condition is anticipated to persist in the coming days.
The concentration of PM2.5 particles exceeded the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 7 to 8 times at multiple locations, posing a substantial risk to respiratory health and overall well-being.
Stubble burning was responsible for 25% of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on November 2 and is projected to potentially reach as high as 35% the following day, as reported by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.
As the air quality in the national capital attains ‘hazardous’ levels, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, Vinai Kumar Saxena, has urgently requested a meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The meeting is expected to be scheduled for 6 pm.