Delhi’s Air Quality ‘Poor’ Again, Diwali Still A Month Away

Delhi in the last 24 hours recorded an AQI of 212, which is considered ‘Poor’.

New Delhi:

Delhi, which is among the world’s most polluted cities, kickstarted its action plan to combat air pollution today just hours after the air quality in the national capital plunged to the ‘poor’ category. Some parts of Delhi also recorded an AQI of above 300, which is categorised as ‘severe’.

The first stage of the Centre’s graded response action plan (GRAP) to check air pollution in Delhi during the winter came into effect today. ‘Visibly polluting’ vehicles will now attract a heavy fine, while trucks not destined for the national capital will be diverted through the eastern and western peripherals.

Stage 1 mandates the suspension of work at private construction and demolition projects with a plot size equal to or exceeding 500 sqm that is not registered on the state government’s portal for remote monitoring of dust mitigation measures. Anti-smog guns will be used at construction and demolition sites.

Authorities will also enforce a complete ban on the use of coal and firewood in tandoors at hotels, restaurants, and open eateries.

Ban on ‘burning activities’ at landfill sites is also part of stage 1.

Delhi in the last 24 hours recorded an AQI of 212, which is considered ‘Poor’.

Every year, the national capital battles eye-stinging smog and severely toxic air during the winters. This is caused majorly by crop residue burning in neighbouring states and emissions from firecrackers during Diwali worsening the situation.

For years, hospitals in Delhi have been teeming with people suffering from cough, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, and even asthma attacks during winter. While doctors advise people to wear a mask to guard against the pollution, authorities have been trying to find ways to be better prepared for the situation.

Delhi has banned the production, storage, sale, and bursting of firecrackers this Diwali. Those caught violating the ban would be fined and jailed for six months.

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