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Blanket of Smog over Delhi, Pollution level over 20 times the safe limit

Blanket of Smog over Delhi, Pollution level over 20 times the safe limit: As the air quality considerably improved on Sunday due to increased air-stream and strict pollution control measures by the government but today, Delhi was seen wrapped in a thick blanket of smog. Visibility on the roads was quite low this morning and a dense haze of smog could be seen near India gate.

Weather officials have given warnings regarding declining air quality in Delhi within next two days before Diwali. According to Delhi Pollution Control Board, this morning at Okhla, WHO (World Health Organisation) reported the PM2.5 level at 644 which is considered ‘Hazardous’ and is 20 times over the safe limit.  PM2.5 is the particulate matter which is present in the air and can penetrate the lungs resulting in breathing or respiratory problems.

Even after pollution control measures taken by the government, smog was captured in Delhi and the visibility was low this morning against Sunday. As we know, millions of people die every year due to Smog. According to WHO, Delhi has worst air quality among any of the metropolitan cities in the world.

An official of the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) told news agency Press Trust of India, “The AQI (Air Quality Index) is predicted to be in the lower range of very poor today as the atmosphere is relatively clean.”

According to Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, PM2.5 concentration could sharply increase from today. Stubble burning and other air contaminating sources in the northwest region of India were considerably lower on Saturday in contrast with Thursday. It also said that if the stubble burning continues for two more days then it could deteriorate the Air Quality Index of Delhi. The IITM reported that, “If significant stubble burning continues on Sunday and Monday in the northwest region, then its impact is very likely over Delhi and AQI may reach the upper end of the very poor category.”

Sarita Mathur, a resident of Mayur Vihar told PTI, “I have sent my children to play outside after weeks (On Sunday). I hope the air quality finally improves and we see a clean Diwali.”

Construction work is banned including excavation and plants that generate dust e.g. Stone Crushers or Hot-Mix plants. The transport department and the traffic police are strictly given orders to check the polluting vehicles and to control road overcrowdings till November 10 by the DPCC (Delhi Pollution Control Committee).

D Saha (Former additional director and the head of air quality management division at Central Pollution Control Board) said, “We are likely to have a clean Diwali.”  He put a relief by saying that as the ground level releases are under regulation due to administrative and controlling measures, no severe variation in pollution level is expected.