Air pollution continues to be ‘severe’, Delhi gets no respite | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Air pollution continues to be ‘severe’, Delhi gets no respite

If it were in China, three consecutive days of “severe” air quality would result in a red alert, during which drastic measures such as shutting down of schools and offices, closing down industries and power plants and rationing of vehicles on roads are implemented.

Breathless in Delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2016 13:50 IST
Ritam Halder
School children cover their face with handkerchiefs as smog continues to cover the skyline in New Delhi for the third consecutive day on Friday.
School children cover their face with handkerchiefs as smog continues to cover the skyline in New Delhi for the third consecutive day on Friday.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Air quality in Delhi continued to be rated as “severe” by monitoring systems in most parts of the city on Friday.

Ayanagar, Dhirpur and Delhi University stations recorded “very poor” on the air quality index (AQI), while the remaining showed “severe”, according to SAFAR monitoring.

Read | Delhi’s smog an indication that the worst is yet to come

Air quality is classified as “very poor” if the AQI ranges from 301 to 400 and “severe” if it is between 400 and 500. Overall, the average AQI in the Capital was over 400.

If it were in China, three consecutive days of “severe” air quality would result in a red alert, during which drastic measures such as shutting down of schools and offices, closing down industries and power plants and rationing of vehicles on roads are implemented.

Following a direction from the National Green Tribunal, the Delhi government will submit a roadmap for short- and long-term measures to check pollution on Friday.

Track pollution levels in your city with this real-time air quality map:

The Union environment ministry has also scheduled a meeting of environment secretaries of the northern states on the issue of crop residue burning, which has emerged as one of the major reasons for increasing pollution in Delhi, besides Punjab and Haryana.

Hindustan Times’s real-time air quality monitoring also show severe AQI at Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, RK Puram. All stations had the maximum AQI of 500 on Friday morning.

Read | ‘Severe’ air prompts DM to look at shutting schools

AQI is an index to depict how clean or polluted the air is in an area. There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderate, Poor, Very Poor and Severe, based on the concentration of eight pollutants — PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3 and Pb. Based on the measured ambient concentrations of these pollutants, a sub-index is calculated for each pollutant and the worst sub-index reflects the overall AQI.

“Very poor” air triggers a health alert and everyone may experience adverse health effects to some degree. In such a situation, it is advised to avoid outdoor activity and use protective masks. “Poor” air quality can cause health troubles to people with heart or lung problems, and senior citizens and children are advised to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

Read | India’s air quality among world’s worst over Diwali weekend: Report