Delhi’s air quality plummets, worst since June 12 | Latest Delhi News


Delhi’s air quality fell into the “poor” category with an air quality index (AQI) of 232 on Sunday – a deterioration from Saturday’s reading of 186 (moderate) – as the Wind speeds eased in the region and allowed local emissions to gradually build up, making it the capital’s most polluted air day in nearly four months. Delhi last recorded a worse AQI reading from June 12 to 249.

The last time Delhi’s air deteriorated to the “poor” category was on October 5, when the AQI was 211, which led the Commission’s sub-committee for the management of Air Quality Management (CAQM) to apply Phase I or ‘Poor’ category measures on Graded Response Action Plan (Grap). With forecasts showing that Delhi’s air is expected to remain poor for the next few days, the CAQM sub-committee has asked agencies to step up measures under Phase I.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) classifies an AQI between zero and 50 “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

In a statement on Sunday, the CAQM said it was closely monitoring Delhi’s AQI parameters and was not applying additional Grap measures, it had ordered agencies to be more vigilant and asked people to follow the “citizen’s charter”, mentioned in the Grap.

Admittedly, the citizens’ charter is a list of actions suggested by the CAQM to the general population. These include keeping pollution certificates up to date, ensuring vehicles are not idling at red lights, and not dumping trash or waste in open spaces.

“By October 5, Delhi’s air quality had deteriorated to the ‘poor’ category. As the air quality again reached the poor category, actions under Phase I of Grap must be intensified by all parties concerned.In view of the AQI of the NCR, the commission reiterated to all implementing agencies of central and state governments in the NCR to strictly implement the actions within the framework of phase I of the Grap and also urges citizens to cooperate in respecting the “citizen’s charter” of the respective stages and assist in the effective implementation of the Grap measures to improve the overall AQI in the region,” said the CAQM on Sunday.

According to the revised Grap, which is being implemented for the first time this winter, the action is linked to the AQI, with the first stage measures (Stage I or “poor” category) taking effect when the AQI exceeds 201. The 24 Measures Phase I includes milestones such as the closure of construction and demolition (C&D) activities on plots larger than 500m² that have not been registered on the respective state government web portals of the NCR; proper implementation of guidelines on dust mitigation measures and sound environmental management of C&D waste; periodic mechanized sweeping and water sprinkling of roads; use of anti-smog guns at C&D sites; ban on open burning of biomass and municipal solid waste; strict vigilance and enforcement of PUC standards and strict prohibitions against using DG sets as a regular power source.

These measures have remained in place in the NCR since October 5. Next stage metrics – Stage II or “Very Poor” category can be applied if the forecast shows that the AQI reading is likely to touch 301 or higher over the next three days.

VK Soni, a scientist at IMD and a member of the CAQM subcommittee, said a meeting on Grap will take place if forecasts show that air quality is likely to reach the “very poor” category. However, for now, the current forecast only warns of “bad” air until October 19th. “From October 19, there may be a change in wind direction to the east and this may lead to improved air quality,” he said. .

According to the Early Warning System (EWS) for Delhi, which the CAQM uses for its forecasts, the air in Delhi will be “poor” from October 16 to 19, with prevailing surface winds blowing from the northwest during this period. “The wind speed will be 4-8 km/h on October 17. It will increase slightly to 4-10 km/h on October 18, and the wind speed will be 8-12 km/h on October 19,” predicts the ‘EWS on said Sunday.


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