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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Delhi air quality may plunge in next few days with another smog spell

India Meteorological Department has said that from November 19 to November 21 there will be little wind and ventilation, which will not allow pollutants to disperse.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2019 10:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A view of the Akshardham flyover in  Delhi as air quality improved in the city on Tuesday.
A view of the Akshardham flyover in Delhi as air quality improved in the city on Tuesday. (Raj K Raj/HT photo)
         

Delhi’s air quality continued to be in the ‘poor’ category on Tuesday with the air quality index (AQI) striking 246 at 8 am, suggested data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The city, however, stares at another episode of smog in the coming days due to slowing winds, with a likely increase in fog cover and a drop in temperature, allowing little ventilation, warned Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), the Supreme Court-mandated anti-pollution authority.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that from November 19 to November 21 there will be little wind and ventilation, which will not allow pollutants to disperse.

The AQI, as calculated by the CPCB’s 4pm bulletin on Monday, was 214 in the ‘poor’ category. On Sunday, the AQI in Delhi was 215 when air quality had improved to ‘poor’ after a four-day spell of pollution levels remaining in the ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

Delhi was covered in a blanket of dense smog last week and the air quality had plunged to the ‘emergency’ range for at least three days, forcing the administration to shut schools for two days and impose temporary prohibitions on industrial and construction activities.

EPCA has asked the governments in Delhi and neighbouring states to step up surveillance and enforcement to check local sources of pollution and crop burning.

On Monday, the central government said it will crack down on those violating anti-pollution rules over the next fortnight to stop another spell of poor air quality in Delhi.

According to Union environment secretary CK Mishra, the government will implement a winter action plan to curb pollution even when the weather conditions are not favourable. He said the action plan will focus on controlling local emissions in Delhi-NCR and penalise officials who fail to take action.