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Pollution level in Delhi remain 'severe', with Air Quality Index crossing 500

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 2 November 2019, 13:30 IST

Pollution level in the national capital remain in the severe category, as Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed 500 this morning as per the data collected from the Lodhi Road area of Delhi.

This comes after the Environment Pollution (prevention & control) Authority (EPCA) declared a public health emergengy throughout Delhi NCR, with the pollution level setting foot on emergency category for the first time since January.

The EPCA had urged citizens to stay away from outdoor physical activities until further notice and also asked the people to wear masks when outdoors. The agency also stopped all construction activity till Tuesday and banned the bursting of crackers during the winters.


Furthermore, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also directed all schools to remain closed till Tuesday and confirmed the odd-even scheme from Monday.

Air quality in the national capital has plunged rapidly after Diwali, which Mr Kejriwal said was the lowest in five years. As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the national capital recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 412 on Friday, which fell in the very severe category.

Mr Kejriwal, who held the Haryana and Punjab government responsible for forcing farmers to burn stubble that led to the crisis, has termed the city as a gas chamber.

Statistics from SAFAR displays that stubble burning in those two states furnished 46 per cent of the smog and air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the highest so far this year.

"The effective stubble fire counts of northwestern India (Haryana and Punjab) is showing an increasing trend and on its peak value of this year (3,178) which has increased its share significantly to 46 per cent," a SAFAR official was quoted in a report by news agency IANS.

The data was 24 percent on Tuesday and 35 percent on Wednesday. Moreover, as per SAFAR data collected between Tuesday and Wednesday, the number of stubble burning went up from 1,200 to 2,700.

Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged school kids to write to Captain Amarinder Singh and Manohar Lal Khattar. "Please write letters to Captain uncle and Khattar uncle and say, 'Please think about our health'," he said while distributing breathing masks.

Furthermore, CM Amarinder Singh and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar have rebuttaled Mr Kejriwal claims, with the congress leader calling the Delhi Chief Minister a liar and Prakash Javadekar blaming him of playing blame game over pollution.

AlsoRead: Very good reason to replace diesel buses: Angela Merkel on Delhi pollution

First published: 2 November 2019, 13:30 IST