Delhi witnessed a slight improvement in air quality as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 201 on Sunday, according to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research).
Delhi’s air improved drastically as air quality fell from the “severe” to “poor” category in the past few days. One of the behind this respite for Delhiites is strong winds and fewer stubble fires in Punjab and Haryana. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data shows that Delhi’s overall AQI on Saturday was 231, considered to be in the “poor” zone.
An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe.
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India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted a maximum temperature of 26 degree Celsius in the national capital and said that skies will remain clear.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju flagged off Delhi Half Marathon at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium earlier this morning. The AQI around the stadium was recorded at 249 as per the CPCB data.
Earlier, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai urged the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to make the bio-decomposer technology mandatory for all states, stating pollution levels in the national capital rise with an increase in stubble burning.
The Delhi government, along with PUSA, developed a bio-composer which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier claimed could decompose 70 to 95 per cent of crop residue. The government’s claims that stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have significantly contributed to the hazardous levels of air pollution in the national capital.
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During a COVID-19 review meeting, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to get rid of pollution due to stubble burning, while citing pollution as an important factor behind the surge of coronavirus cases in Delhi.
However, he had said that coronavirus cases in the national capital have been steadily decreasing after November 10.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had also said that pollution caused by stubble-burning has led to the high number of COVID-19 deaths in Delhi.
On Saturday, Delhi reported 4,998 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the national capital to 5,61,742. According to the Delhi Health Department, 89 people succumbed to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 8,998.
As many as 6,512 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours, with which the total number of recovered patients reached 5,16,166.