Delhi’s Air Quality: Slid To ‘Very Poor’ Category, Meeting Today To Discuss Measures
The air quality in the city deteriorated to ‘very poor’ even before the onset of the winter and just days after stringent measures came into force in Delhi and the National Capital Region.
The air quality index read 313, primarily due to wind speed dropping to zero. Other factors, including local emissions and stubble burning in neighboring states, also played a part, says officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), who predicted that pollution levels would rise over the next few days.
The smaller PM2.5 level on Wednesday was 138.7 mpcm, more than twice the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA)
“As wind speed dropped to zero, the pollutants could not disperse. Besides that, wind direction has changed to the northwest, thereby carrying into Delhi pollutants from stubble burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana. Also, the festive rush on roads is adding to the vehicular emissions,” a CPCB official said.
Grap (Graded response action plan)
Grap measures to implement to take action to reduce ‘poor’, ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ levels of air pollution. This is the second year that Grap is in force as an emergency plan to counter alarming levels of air pollution post-Diwali.
Here are the top updates on air pollution in Delhi:
- The Badarpur thermal plant permanently closes from today because of its high contribution to pollution in the city. The emergency plan includes measures like mechanized sweeping of roads, deployment of traffic police to ensure smooth passage of traffic at vulnerable areas in Delhi and neighboring areas.
- Authorities banned garbage burning and imposed pollution control measures at brick kilns and ordered the deployment of police to ensure smooth passage of traffic at vulnerable areas Delhi and the National Capital Region.
- If the air quality dips further to “very poor” category, parking fees will be hiked three to four times the current rates and the frequency of the metro and bus services will be increased.
- When the air quality falls in the severe category, additional measures would be implemented like increasing frequency of sprinkling of water on roads and identifying road stretches with high dust generation.
- Delhi’s civic body had also asked the state-run Navratna Central Public Sector (NBCC) to “immediately halt” all construction and demolition activities at its project site at central; Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.
- Pollution in Delhi and neighboring areas spikes around this time due to stubble burning by farmers after the harvest in Punjab and Haryana and Diwali firecrackers.