Air Pollution at alarming level in Delhi

Air pollution level in New Delhi nosedived to hit an AQI of 448 on Monday due to adverse weather and temperature remains appreciably below normal.

While an improvement is expected only around December 26, authorities have ordered closure of all industrial activities in six hot spots in and around Delhi and issued notices to stop all industrial and construction activities for the next 48 hours.

“We have ordered closing down on all industrial and construction activities in Delhi National Capital Region for the next two days. We expect the wind speed to pick up from December 26 onward,” S P Singh Parihar, chairman, Central Pollution Control Board said here.

At 4 PM on Monday, the Air Quality Index for Delhi stood at 448 while the corresponding figures for Noida (464), Greater Noida (450), Ghaziabad (456) and Faridabad (444) were also very high, putting them into “severe” air pollution category. Gurugram was marginally better with an AQI of 303.

Any AQI figure more than 100 is considered unhealthy.

The index was drawn by scientists after taking into account various air pollution causing factors including the concentration of two types of dust particles known as PM-2.5 and PM-10. The former is more dangerous as it goes straight to the lungs and stay inside the body for a longer period.

The deterioration of air quality was due to a combination of meteorological conditions ranging from 95% relative humidity, drop in night temperature and loss of mixing height ranging from 450-50 mt instead of few thousands. Temperature in Delhi was 3-5 degrees Celsius below the normal.

“As a result, there was no horizontal dispersion of the pollutants,” Parrihar said.

All the six pollution hotspots are industrial areas in Delhi-NCR. They are Wazirpur, Narela, Bawana, Mundka, Sahibabad and Faridabad. In coordination with the Delhi government, CPCB deployed teams of officials to these areas to stop all types of open air burning, said Union Environment Secretary C K Mishra.

Parrihar said since November 1, CPCB received 7,600 pollution-related complaints on its smart phone app, out of which nearly 70% had been resolved. The environment regulator imposed a fine of Rs one crore each on three oil companies for their failure to install anti-pollution "vapour recovery" systems at fuel stations.

Vapour recovery device is an instrument to capture displaced vapour that emerge from inside a vehicle's fuel tank while filling petrol or diesel in it.

The fine has been slapped on public sector oil firms Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

CPCB and Delhi Pollution Control Committee issued notices to close to 700 construction companies and big players in the construction sectors like NHAI, DMRC and CPWD.

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Air Pollution at alarming level in Delhi

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