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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

Delhi’s air quality dips as crop burning continues in Punjab, Haryana

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has said the pollution level will plunge on Monday with AQI oscillating between ‘poor’ to ‘moderate’ category’.

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2019 12:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Data from the unit of the Union ministry of earth sciences showed the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was at 266 on Sunday.
Data from the unit of the Union ministry of earth sciences showed the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was at 266 on Sunday.(Sonu Mehta/HT file photo)
         

The air quality in Delhi remained ‘poor’ for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday as crop stubble burning in neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab and low-speed surface winds trapped pollutants in the national capital.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has said the pollution level will plunge on Monday with AQI oscillating between ‘poor’ to ‘moderate’ category’.

Data from the unit of the Union ministry of earth sciences showed the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was at 266 on Sunday.

AQI was 313 in Dhirpur at 8:30am and it dipped to ‘very poor’ category at 306 in Mathura Road area. AQI near Pusa, Airport, Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 245, 290 and 300 respectively.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

The organisation has advised ‘sensitive groups’ to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, take more breaks and do less intense activities. The asthmatics have been advised to keep medicine ready if symptoms of coughing or shortness of breath occur.

Also read: Delhi has done better. But the real test has just begun

“Heart patients, see the doctor, if get palpitations, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue,” its advisory read.

Strict measures to combat the menace of air pollution will come into force from October 15 in Delhi and its adjoining areas such as Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), first implemented in Delhi-NCR two years ago.

GRAP is a set of emergency measures to combat ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ levels of pollution.

The AQI for this time of the year is still better in comparison to the past few years, partly due to enough widespread moisture due to extended monsoon.

On Thursday, Delhi’s air quality had for the first time slipped into the ‘poor’ category—AQI of 211—this season, after the city breathing in three-months of good air.

Thursday’s pollution spike came a day after Delhi saw its cleanest post-Dussehra air in five years. Before that, Delhi had experienced poor levels of air pollution on July 14 when AQI was recorded at 235.