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Delhi-NCR air pollution highlights: AQI worsens as citizens flout firecracker ban

Hourly PM 2.5 concentration at Anand Vihar was 1,985 micrograms per cubic metre at midnight, which is a whopping 33 times the national safe standard of 60 µg/m
Smog engulfs India Gate in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
Smog engulfs India Gate in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

The relentless bursting of firecrackers on Diwali, November 12, led to Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) dipping further after the national capital received rainfall a few days ago relieving the city of heavy pollution. Delhi on Monday recorded a jump in pollution levels and a smoky haze returned after the citizens flouted the firecrackers ban....Read More

The hourly PM 2.5 concentration at Anand Vihar was 1,985 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) at midnight, which is a whopping 33 times the national safe standard of 60 µg/m3, and 132 times the safe limit of 15 µg/m3 given by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

After the rainfall, Delhi recorded its best air quality on the Diwali day in the past eight years on Sunday, with its 24-hour average AQI standing at 218 at 4 pm. However, the relief was short-lived and the AQI was recorded at 358 (very poor) on Monday.

On Diwali last year, Delhi recorded an AQI of 312, 382 in 2021, 414 in 2020, 337 in 2019, 281 in 2018, 319 in 2017 and 431 in 2016, according to CPCB data, PTI reported.

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Nov 14, 2023 7:45 PM IST

Punjab records over 1,700 farm fires

Punjab today reported at least 1,776 stubble-burning incidents across the state, according to PTI.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in Delhi in October and November. More details here.

Nov 14, 2023 5:31 PM IST

Delhi air quality in ‘Very Poor’ category at 4 pm

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the Air Quality Index of Delhi stood at 397 (Very Poor) at 4 pm.

Nov 14, 2023 5:01 PM IST

Delhi Minister Raaj Kumar Anand inspects implementation of non-essential truck ban at Singhu Border

Delhi Labour Minister Raaj Kumar Anand inspected vehicles entering Delhi at the Singhu Border on Monday night and took stock of the implementation of anti-pollution measures.

"We checked the essential and non-essential goods. We will set up big boards and awareness camps that the trucks carrying non-essential goods should be stopped before arriving at the Delhi border," Raaj Kumar Anand told ANI.

Nov 14, 2023 4:43 PM IST

‘AAP is silent on internal causes of Delhi's pollution,’ BJP's Shehzad Poonawalla

"Today, AQI in Delhi is crossing 400 in many areas. Note: No DIWALI, no crackers burst yesterday ; no crackers burst 10 days ago when AQI was 600 plus. Reason: Punjab Parali continues to burn despite SC warnings of 2611 farm fires in two days. 26000 plus farm fires in this season," BJP’s Shehzad Poonawalla posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday.

Nov 14, 2023 3:27 PM IST

Pollution spikes in 9 of 11 state capitals this year post-Diwali, highest in Delhi

Nine out of 11 state capitals analysed in India have recorded higher pollution in the first 12 hours after Diwali celebrations this year than what it was last year.

The government's National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) tracker analysed PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) data for 11 capital cities--Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna--for the day before Diwali, the day of Diwali and the day after Diwali (till 12 pm) for the years 2022 and 2023.

The highest spike (recorded at 15-minute intervals) was seen in the national capital Delhi. It was at 999.5 ug/m3 at Pusa on November 13 at 1:30 am.

Nov 14, 2023 2:24 PM IST

BJP leaders are giving 'absurd' justifications for firecracker bursting during Diwali: Gopal Rai

"The BJP alleges that the AAP government in Delhi failed to curb firecracker bursting. However, it's the BJP-controlled police in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh that failed to prevent firecracker burning during Diwali, not the Delhi government," Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai told PTI.

Nov 14, 2023 1:52 PM IST

ICYMI: NDMC doubles parking fees to discourage use of private vehicles

Amid high pollution levels in the national capital, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has doubled the charges for parking sites managed by it to discourage people from using private vehicles.

There are a total of 91 parking sites in the NDMC area. While 41 of these are managed by the NDMC, the maintenance of others has been outsourced to other agencies.

Parking sites between Rajpath and AIIMS, including those at Sarojini Nagar market, Khan Market, Lodhi Road, INA, AIIMS and Safdarjung, fall in the NDMC area. These sites witness heavy traffic.

"Keeping in view the climatic conditions, the parking fees (off road/on road) has been enhanced to twice the existing (amount) to discourage private transport for the parking managed by NDMC through its own staff till 31st January 2024," an official notification stated.

PTI

Nov 14, 2023 12:43 PM IST

"You have police, why didn't you stop firecrackers": Gopal Rai questions BJP on firecracker violations

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has accused Bharatiya Janata Party leaders of promoting the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali which led to an increase in pollution in the city, ANI reported.

"BJP is trying to hide its mistakes. I have heard the statements of many BJP leaders recently and all of them are trying to hush up their statements in different ways. There was no festival yesterday, so why were the firecrackers bursting yesterday? Where did they came from? A BJP leader said that the AAP government failed to stop firecrackers. You have Delhi Police. SC had imposed the ban, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana Police is in your hands, then who has failed? This means you wanted crackers to be burst," Gopal Rai said.

Nov 14, 2023 11:48 AM IST

‘Wind speed was expected to slow down after Diwali…’: Delhi minister Gopal Rai

On 'severe' air pollution in the national capital today, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai tells ANI, "Wind speed was expected to slow down after Diwali, and due to this smog situation has developed. After firecrackers were burst yesterday as well, pollution levels have gone up today as compared to yesterday."

Nov 14, 2023 11:46 AM IST

Watch: Toxic foam floats on surface of Yamuna River

Toxic foam floats on the surface of Yamuna River

Nov 14, 2023 11:22 AM IST

'AAP is silent on internal causes of Delhi's pollution': BJP's Shehzad Poonawalla

BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, “Today, AQI in Delhi is crossing 400 in many areas. Note: No DIWALI, no crackers burst yesterday ; no crackers burst 10 days ago when AQI was 600 plus. Reason: Punjab Parali continues to burn despite SC warnings of 2611 farm fires in two days. 26000 plus farm fires in this season.”

He added that AAP government was only blaming Hindus, Diwali, the Centre, Haryana, and UP but is silent on Punjab Parali.

"There are also internal causes of pollution in Delhi- 1) Dust, 2) Industrial & construction, 3) vehicular pollution, 4) biomass burning 2) Industrial and construction, 3) vehicular pollution and 4) biomass burning. What did you do about this in the last 9 years Gopal Rai? AAP will blame Hindus, Diwali, Centre, Haryana, UP but is silent on Punjab Parali. Silent on the internal causes of Delhi's pollution. Thank you, Kejriwal, for making Delhi a gas chamber," he added.

Air quality in parts of Delhi continued in the 'Severe' category on Tuesday morning as the city woke up once again to smog that limited visibility.

Nov 14, 2023 10:42 AM IST

Toxic air worsens in Delhi as Diwali night triggers alarming AQI levels for the week

The air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday morning, a day after it deteriorated significantly due to the rampant bursting of firecrackers in the national capital on Diwali night and the following day.

According to the Early Warning System for Delhi, the air quality is likely to be in the ‘severe’ category from Tuesday to Thursday.

According to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi recorded an average AQI of 361 at 9am on Tuesday morning. The ITO station recorded an AQI of 427, IGI Airport recorded 426 and Delhi University north campus recorded 398.

On Monday, the AQI (a 24-hour average reading) at 4pm worsened to 358 (very poor), deteriorating further to 403 (severe) by 10pm. With the average AQI increasing by 140 points between Sunday (218 at 4pm) and Monday, the capital saw the sharpest rise in average pollution levels in the last eight years between Diwali (Sunday) and the day after.

Read Here.

Nov 14, 2023 10:05 AM IST

Watch: Smog covers Delhi's Azadpur area

Smog covers Delhi's Azadpur area.

Nov 14, 2023 9:46 AM IST

AQI worsens in Delhi, relief unlikely soon

Air pollution worsened in Delhi amid unfavourable meteorological conditions on Tuesday morning and a relief is unlikely soon. Based on data provided by nine out of the 40 monitoring stations in Delhi, the capital's air quality index stood at 363 — very poor category — at 8 am., PTI reports.

Rest of the monitoring stations failed to generate enough data for indexing, according to the Central Pollution Control Board's mobile application Sameer.

Nov 14, 2023 9:08 AM IST

Delhi-NCR veiled in smog as air quality declines

Delhi-NCR remains veiled in smog as air quality declines. Images captured at Anand Vihar depict the situation.

Nov 14, 2023 8:58 AM IST

Watch: Light haze shrouds Delhi as overall air quality dips to ‘Severe’

Light haze shrouds Delhi as the overall air quality dips to 'Severe' category

Nov 14, 2023 7:34 AM IST

Watch: People walk at Kartavya Path as Delhi AQI still in ‘Severe’ category

Air quality across Delhi continued to be in the ‘Severe’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Nov 14, 2023 7:08 AM IST

Watch: AQI in Ghaziabad remains in ‘Very poor’ category

Air quality in Ghaziabad remains in the 'Very poor' category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board, CPCB.

Nov 14, 2023 7:07 AM IST

Delhi AQI continues to be in ‘Severe’ category

The air quality in Delhi remains in the 'Severe' category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The Air Quality Index (AQI) reading at RK Puram is 417, Punjabi Bagh is 410, ITO is 430, and Jahangirpuri is 428.

Nov 14, 2023 6:12 AM IST

Gurugram primary schools reopen following weeklong closure amidst air pollution concerns

Gurugram's primary schools, from nursery to fifth grade, are set to reopen after a weeklong closure prompted by elevated air pollution levels in the region, PTI reports.

The decision to suspend classes was initially made on November 6 by the Gurugram administration to safeguard students from the worsening pollution conditions in the National Capital Region (NCR).

District Disaster Management Authority Chairman and Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav has now issued orders to revoke the November 6 directive, allowing primary schools to resume offline classes.

Initially, schools were advised to continue online studies to minimize disruption, but this guidance has been rescinded, permitting a return to in-person learning.