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Delhi-NCR battles for breath as AQI remains in 'severe' category for third consecutive day

News Agencies | Updated on: 31 October 2019, 12:51 IST

The air quality in several parts of the national capital and its adjoining areas remained 'hazardous' for the third consecutive day, said the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

The pollution level has spiked in Delhi-NCR due to the increase in the biomass fire incidents, westerly winds flowing in the region and an increase in farm fire smoke from Punjab and Haryana.

At 11:30 in the morning on Thursday, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was docking at 412, which falls in the 'severe category'.

In Noida, the air quality is worse than Delhi with AQI hovering around 527.

In Ghaziabad also, a blanket of smog engulfed the region leaving residents gasping for breath.

"In Delhi, the pollution level has definitely increased in the past few days. I am not able to do exercise in the morning. I feel suffocated most of the time I am outdoors," said a local residing in the national capital.

Residents of Ghaziabad also complained of eye irritation and breathlessness in the morning and urged the government to take requisite measures to curb the menace.

"Stringent actions should be taken by the government to combat air pollution. I feel irritation in my eyes during morning walks. According to me, stubble burning in the nearby region is the major cause of pollution the air," Naveen Rana, Civil defense engineer from Ghaziabad.

Also, according to Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), straw burning has increased this year.

"If we see the records from September 23 to October 21, the fire incidents have increased from last year. So far, 3466 incidents have taken place. Last year, till October 21, it was 2575," Anil Sood, Head ACM division, PRSC had said while speaking to ANI in Ludhiana.

Tarantara was placed at the top of the list of fire incidents with 736 cases. Amritsar was second in the list with 597 cases followed by Patiala with 439 fire incidents. In Ferozabadpur, around 311 fire incidents were reported while in Gurudaspur around 239 such incidents were recorded.

To curb air pollution, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi has announced the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme from November 4 to 15, 2019.

Also Read: Gautam Gambhir asks Kejriwal to list measures taken to check Delhi's pollution

First published: 31 October 2019, 12:51 IST