Delhi air quality climbs dangerous levels, despite cracker ban

Last Modified Friday, 20 October 2017 (11:23 IST)
New Delhi: The ban put on crackers by the Supreme Court failed to have desirous effect on the of national capital, which had crossed the danger level two days before and continued to rise today, creating a dangerous situation for the residents. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), air monitoring system of the Ministry of Earth Science at Mathura Road, Lodhi Road, Pusa, University, Airport, Ayanagar, Dhirpur and Pitampura registered 'very poor' quality of air at 2330 hrs, while Pushpanjali Enclave and Mangolpuri besides the neighbouring Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad areas registered 'poor' air quality.

Quality of air measured under category PM10 was recorded at 256 g/m3 tonight, which is considered poor,while category PM2.5 which is considered to be the most dangerous dust matter and spreads deep into the lungs, was registered at 154g/m3, considered to be 'very poor'. According to SAFAR, PM10 will reach the alarming level of 358g/m3 tomorrow, while PM2.5 will remain around 216g/m3, both falling under the 'Very Poor' zone. The monitoring system further said that PM10 will reach 288g/m3 after three days, while PM2.5 will go up to 149g/m3, maintaining at Poor and Very Poor, respectively.

The air quality in Delhi had entered the red zone on October 17, resulting in shutting down of the polluting Badarpur Power Plant as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). However, the authorities said the city was ready to tackle any situation, if it worsens, as was the case in 2016. Last year, during Diwali the pollution level in Delhi was pushed to a dangerous level and the Delhi Government implemented drastic measures like closing down the schools and controlling the construction works in a bid to tackle it.

According to the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA), if PM2.5 breaches the safe standards, and shoots above 300g/m3, stringent measures must be implemented. The GRAP came into effect last year after the Supreme Court asked the government to frame and implement actions to control air pollution and the Ministry of environment notified it in January, 2017. According to EPCA, certain measures should be taken up to lessen pollution, which include bring down garbage burning, controlling construction, road and dust augmentation of public transport and last mile connectivity in Delhi and NCR. (UNI)