Air pollution increased greatly in Delhi, resulting in ten monitoring stations entering the ‘severe zone’ as per CPCB’s air quality monitoring app. The air quality index jumped from 302 on Thursday to 374 on Friday, which is ‘very poor’ on the air quality index. Unfortunately, it seems that the air quality may worsen over the next couple of days.
The air quality monitor system, SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) by the Ministry of Earth Sciences has the following scale:
- 0-50: good
- 51-100: satisfactory
- 101-200: moderate
- 201-300: poor
- 301-400: very poor
- 401-500: severe
Then, SAMEER, the mobile app by CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), showed that ten monitoring stations fell into the severe category. The areas of the ten monitoring stations and their air quality indices are:
|Zone||Air Quality Index|
Air quality to worsen in Delhi over next two days
The forecast for the next two days is calm wind conditions. Therefore, the ventilation will be low for a long time, resulting in pollutants staying near the surface. Air quality will thus be unable to improve for at least these two days. In fact, the two days are enough to increase the air pollution and cause the entire capital to fall into the severe zone.
The pollutants include those from stubble fires, which increased in neighbouring regions like Haryana and Punjab. However, this most likely does not have a dramatic effect as the wind direction is not allowing the pollutants to go as far as Delhi so much.
The air pollution is not just due to the stubble burning. It is also due to burning of waste, as well as vehicular traffic which is only naturally increasing as lockdowns relax. Additional Director General IMD, Anand Sharma, said that the PM 2.5 will increase, which is extremely harmful to human health. PM 2.5 is particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Due to its very small size, it enters lungs and the blood, and can stay there. Likewise, PM 10 (particulate matter of diameter less than 10 micrometres).
Red Light On, Gaadi Off anti-pollution campaign
Meanwhile, the Delhi government is starting the Red Light On, Gaadi Off anti-pollution campaign. 2,500 environment marshals spread across 100 traffic signals in the city to make citizens aware of pollution and urge them to decrease it. This will go on till November 15 from 8 AM to 8 PM. However, no person will get challans.
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