Diwali is still five days away, but the national capital’s air quality has already begun to get worse.
Government monitoring agencies forecast a spike in air pollution numbers over the coming days in the absence of strong winds.
The days before Diwali usually sees an increase in the number of traffic jams, and environment experts say that the low wind speed could contribute to pollution particles settling in the air.
Monday morning was particularly bad as fine pollutants touched the ‘very poor’ level, as categorized by the System of Air quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Against the permissible level of 60 microgram per cubic metre (ugm-3), Delhi’s air currently has 147.1 ugm-3 of PM 2.5 (particulate matter finer than 2.5 micrometres). Besides, PM 10 levels were also higher than normal at 272.9 ugm-3 whereas the prescribed standard is 100 ugm-3.
According to SAFAR’s forecast, pollution levels due to PM 2.5 in Delhi are likely to touch 300 micrograms per cubic meter. This level is considered ‘unhealthy’, and makes breathing, especially for people with respiratory problems, difficult.
Delhi minister Satyendar Jain said that the group of ministers formed by the government to tackle air pollution was meeting on Monday to discuss effective garbage collections and ways to mitigate air pollution during Diwali .
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