Delhi's AQI stays ‘poor’; AAP minister alleges officers not obeying instructions | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Delhi AQI in ‘poor’ category for third consecutive day; AAP minister alleges officers not obeying instructions

Oct 25, 2023 05:15 PM IST

As per Centre's Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, the city's air quality will shift between poor and very poor categories over the next few days.

The air quality of Delhi was recorded in the poor category for the third consecutive day, as the average Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 238 on Wednesday, with a significant improvement unlikely over the next few days, said the monitoring agencies.

Commuters are seen at Dwarka Expressway Link Raod amid morning smog as air pollution rises near the Railway over bridge, in Gurugram. (Hindustan Times)
Commuters are seen at Dwarka Expressway Link Raod amid morning smog as air pollution rises near the Railway over bridge, in Gurugram. (Hindustan Times)

As per the Centre's Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, the national capital's air quality will likely shift between poor and very poor categories over the next four to five days.

AQI was 196 in Ghaziabad, 258 in Faridabad, 176 in Gurugram, 200 in Noida and 248 in Greater Noida.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), AQI between 0 and 50 is considered as good, 51 and 100 as satisfactory, 101 and 200 as moderate, 201 and 300 as poor, 301 and 400 as very poor, and above 400 as severe.

Here are the latest updates on Delhi's air pollution:

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) Environment Monitoring and Research head Vijay Kumar Soni said that the AQI of Delhi was in the poor category, stating that it did not deteriorate much this year around Dussehra. “It was in the poor category yesterday, it has increased a little today but it still is in the poor category. This time GRAP [Graded Response Action Plan] stage 2 has been implemented in advance so we can see the positive results now. There was no hotspot that went into 'very poor' and 'severe' category.”
  • Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday that the national capital will relaunch the ‘Red Light on Gaadi Off’ from October 26 to curb the air pollution arising from vehicles in the city. During a press conference, Rai conveyed that recent data analysis indicated a decline in PM10 pollution while observing an increase in PM2.5 concentration, which was attributed to biomass burning and vehicular emissions.
  • Delhi Services Minister Atishi told reporters on Wednesday that the rising pollution during winter in the city is a significant issue for the public. She said that during this time the cases of respiratory issues rise and more and more people get admitted to hospitals. “To curb the rising pollution levels, the Delhi government has been consistently working for eight years.”
  • Atishi that there was no official data available that could indicate which source can lead to what quantity of air pollution. “The problem is that no policy can be drafted to reduce this pollution when the government doesn't know the amount of contribution of particular pollution source.”
  • Atishi said that this is the reason why the Delhi cabinet made a decision in July 2021 to conduct a real-time source apportionment study, which means in real-time we will try finding out in which area at a particular time which source is contributing how much to the pollution of the area.
  • Environment Minister Rai alleged on Wednesday that Delhi's ‘one-of-its-kind’ study was halted by the orders of Delhi Pollution Control Committee Chairman (DPCC) Ashwani Kumar. “The estimated cost was over 12 crore. The Delhi government had released 10 crore to IIT-Kanpur for the procurement of necessary equipment and set up a centralised supersite for data collection,” Rai said stating that Kumar — who became the DPCC chairman in December — made a file note in February expressing his concerns regarding “substantial expenses associated with the study”.
  • “It's very unfortunate that such a decision has been made at a time when Delhi urgently needs scientific data to address its pollution problem. Kumar put the lives of two crore residents of Delhi at risk,” Rai said. He also wrote a letter to CM Arvind Kejriwal seeking Kumar's suspension due to “insensitive and irresponsible behaviour”.
  • Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, speaking to news agency PTI, said on Wednesday that the officials are not abiding by the instructions given by the Delhi government or its ministers. “It seems they (officials) are being encouraged by the Centre to not follow the state Cabinet's instructions. The rising pollution is an inconvenience to the public. If there is a decision given by the cabinet, how is an official empowered enough to ignore it?”
  • The Deputy Commissioner Captain of Haryana's Jhajjar Shakti Singh said to ANI, “GRAP, which is a graded response to air pollution, has been effective from October 1... Some restrictions are being put up, especially in areas where there are industries and dust pollution happens through vehicles... I would like to request all the farmers to not burn the stubble... Only green crackers are allowed in the NCR if anyone brings restricted crackers, strict action will be taken against them.”
  • Gopal Rai also urged states in the National Capital Region (NCR) to ban firecrackers ahead of the upcoming Diwali festival keeping in mind the measures which have been implemented in the city to tackle the rising pollution levels.
  • On Wednesday morning, Rai said that the Delhi government identified eight more pollution hotspots, adding to the existing 13 in the city, and special teams will be deployed in these areas to check the pollution sources.
  • The Delhi government has decided to use suppressant powder — which includes chemical agents like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, lignosulfonates, and various polymers — to prevent dust pollution.

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