For the first time since June, the air quality in the national capital dipped to ‘poor’ category on Wednesday.
Delhi’s 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) stands at 215, which is in the ‘poor’ category. Delhi’s AQI stood at 178 on Tuesday. The last time in three months when Delhi’s AQI plunged into the ‘poor’ category was on June 29 when the AQI stood at 230.
As per the set norms, an AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, between 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, between 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, between 201 and 300 ‘poor’, between 301 and 400 ‘very poor’ and between 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
According to pollution watchdog Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), PM10 levels in Delhi-NCR stood at 234 microgram per cubic metre (µg/m3) at 6 pm on Wednesday. A particulate matter with a diameter of just about 10 micrometres, PM10 is inhalable into the lungs. PM10 levels below 100 µg/m3 are considered safe in the country.
Meanwhile, PM2.5 levels, which are finer particles that can even enter the bloodstream, stood at 93 µg/m3.
Incidentally, Delhi Government on Wednesday asked six major construction and demolition sites to stop work in view of pollution in the national capital. These six sites include Netaji Municipal Construction Works, NBCC, Sarojini Municipal Construction Works, NCCC, FICCI Auditorium, Construction work, CPWD in Kasturba Nagar, CRPF Head Quarters, CGO Complex and Tyagraj Nagar, CPWD.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai had said that their first target is to reduce pollution due to dust and around 39 sites have been identified where anti-smog guns will be used.
CPCB has also written to Delhi Chief Secretary about air pollution seeking immediate action on major polluting sources in the national capital keeping in mind the onset of winter. In its letter dated October 6, CPCB specifically alerted the “need for rigorous monitoring of compliances and appropriate corrective actions.”
Their letter points out that 280 lakh tonne legacy waste lying unsecure, across three major landfill sites in Delhi.
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