Air pollution continues to remain in ‘very poor’ category, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Choking the National Capital : Air pollution continues to remain in ‘very poor’ categoryAs the National Capital’s air quality remained in the “severe” zone for over a week, the Delhi government had to shut physical classes of schools and advised work from home for offices. The air quality in the national capital still lies at a very severe level and is not predicted to improve anytime soon. The apex court has directed the centre to hold an emergency meeting with states to prepare a plan to curb toxic smog and rising air pollution across the country, which will be held today.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) remains in the hazardous category for many days with cases of respiratory ailments and severe diseases being reported all across the region. A combination of various factors like crop stubble burning, firecracker emissions during Diwali, emissions from transport, industry smoke, open garbage burning and dust amongst others led to the hazardous air pollution levels in the region, some of the worst ever recorded across the globe.

Noting the rising air pollution, the court had directed the Delhi Government to take steps to ensure the air quality becomes better in the region. In view of this, the government has closed physical school classes and has instructed government officials to work from home. All construction work was shut for three days as well.

The Centre and State government of Delhi had locked horns in naming the major contributors of air pollution in the court. While the Delhi government had stated that stubble burning and other agricultural practices contribute a major share to the air pollution, the centre had noted that it only contributes four percent of in PM 2.5 levels in Delhi in winters and seven percent in summers.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which comes under the Central Ministry of Earth Sciences, had however noted that the share of agricultural burning to air pollution had risen to 48 percent when the air quality had deteriorated to hazardous levels on November 7. The same agency also predicted that the air quality is unlikely to improve on Tuesday.

Delhi’s Air quality has remained in the ‘very poor’ category with the recorded AQI being well above 300 on Monday. The meeting and subsequent hearing with the court is likely to decide further steps to be taken to curb air pollution in the national capital and nearing regions.

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