Delhi’s air worse than Beijing, situation to continue for 3 days

Updated on Dec 08, 2015 10:28 AM IST

On a day that Beijing declared its first ever air pollution red alert, Delhi surpassed its Chinese counterpart. No red alerts, however, will be issued anytime soon.

Joggers exercise on a smoggy morning near the India Gate in New Delhi.(AFP Photo)
Joggers exercise on a smoggy morning near the India Gate in New Delhi.(AFP Photo)
Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

On a day that Beijing declared its first ever air pollution red alert, Delhi surpassed its Chinese counterpart. No red alerts, however, will be issued anytime soon.

Four stations in Delhi, Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg, RK Puram and Punjabi Bagh recorded a severe warning with the air pollution values for these on the National Air Quality Index being recorded above 400 (out of a maximum of 500). This carries a severe warning. At Anand Vihar, the Particulate Matter 10 concentration at 8 pm on Monday was 1,903 migrogramme per cubic metre. This is 19 times more than the prescribed limit.

According to experts, the air quality is expected to be in the same range for the next three days.

Thick smog blanketed the national capital on Tuesday and visibility was down to about 200 metres. (HT Photo)
Thick smog blanketed the national capital on Tuesday and visibility was down to about 200 metres. (HT Photo)

On Monday, Beijing ordered schools to close down and all outdoor construction activity to stop as its air quality figures touched 256 at around 8pm. Delhi, at 8pm, recorded a reading of 286. (Source: US Embassy air quality index).

Read: Beijing issues first-ever ‘red alert’ for air pollution, braces for smog

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) stations in Delhi University, IGI Airport, Dhirpur also had ‘severe’ Air Quality Index (AQI), bordering 450 in most cases. The 24-hour average of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were 197 and 330 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

Permissible levels of PM (particulate matter) 2.5 and PM 10 are 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre respectively and consistent exposure to anything beyond that can harm the respiratory system as the particles embed themselves deep inside the lungs.

Read: Air quality in Delhi ‘hazardous’, worse than Beijing

Delhi will restrict cars from Jan 1 to cut pollution, may face challenge

In pics: Smog engulfs heavily polluted Beijing

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