Pollution spikes in Delhi again

Pollution spikes in Delhi again

The air in the National Capital Region (NCR) was back to dangerous levels on Sunday.

The Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) Air Quality Index (AQI) for Delhi jumped to 460 (on a scale of 500) after touching 403 on Saturday.

Favourable weather conditions coupled with the pollution reduction measures taken by the authorities lowered air pollution levels since Friday.

But the smog spiked on Sunday bringing down visibility to less than 100 metres in the morning.

The pollutant levels (PM-2.5 and PM-10) remains nearly 15 times more than the WHO-determined safe limits and more than six times the safe limits set by the CPCB.

Of the four satellite towns, Faridabad was marginally better with an AQI of 367, while Gurgaon (436), Noida (429) and Ghaziabad (486) fell in the "severe" category.

On Saturday, US-based United Airlines became the first airlines to temporarily suspend its service to Delhi citing poor air quality.

"United temporarily suspended Newark-Delhi flights due to poor air quality concerns in Delhi and currently has waiver policies in place for customers who are travelling to, from or through Delhi," an airline said in a statement.

The city is covered under a thick haze turning the air into a toxic concoction, which is hazardous even for healthy people.

Footfalls at hospitals and clinics are on a rise with doctors suggesting patients with serious respiratory troubles to move out of the city.

The officials are now hoping for a change in the weather pattern that could improve the situation.

The Meteorological Department predicted favourable weather conditions and a bout of passing shower in north-west India, including Delhi, to bring down the pollution level.

Emergency measures like a ban on entry of trucks, halting civil construction works and watering roads will continue.

However, the odd-even scheme of car rationing will not be introduced from Monday as the National Green Tribunal (NGT)objected to the exemptions given under the scheme.

The Delhi government is likely to file an appeal before the NGT.

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