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Delhi's air quality again plunges into 'severe' category, no sign of relief from pollution

Despite a decrease in the total number of farm fires in Punjab and Haryana, Delhi has experienced elevated pollution levels this November.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: December 01, 2023 8:19 IST
Delhi pollution, AQI
Image Source : PTI Vehicles ply amid an atmosphere shrouded in smog in New Delhi

Delhi air pollution: After a brief improvement in the Air Quality Index (AQI) for a few days, the pollution level in Delhi deteriorated on Friday morning, once again falling into the 'severe' category. It seems there are no signs of improvement in pollution levels, as a combination of local emissions, stubble burning, and low temperatures continues to contribute to severe air pollution.

A thick layer was haze also shrouded the national capital, leading to a drop in visibility and affecting traffic movement. 

Notably, the air quality deteriorated two days after the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in Delhi on Tuesday ordered the removal of GRAP Stage-III curbs in Delhi-NCR. The move paved the way for the removal of restrictions on the operation of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.

AQI in various areas in Delhi:

  • Anand Vihar: 410
  • Ashok Vihar: 403
  • Dwarka Sector 8: 401
  • IGI T3: 382
  • ITO: 370
  • Lodhi Road: 349
  • JLN stadium: 367
  • Jahangirpuri: 402
  • Najafgarh: 375
  • Mundka: 408
  • North Campus DU: 371
  • Okhla Phase-2: 424
  • Patparganj: 417
  • Punjabi Bagh: 411
  • Rohini: 400
  • RK Puram: 401
  • Shadipur: 371
  • Vivek Vihar: 438
  • Wazirpur: 423

AQI in various areas in Noida:

  • Sector 125: 341
  • Sector 62: 366
  • Sector 1: 362
  • Sector 116: 354

Stubble burning down in Punjab and Haryana 

Union Environment Ministry said that the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana has declined by 27 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, as compared to the last year.

From 83,002 fires in 2020, the count in Punjab dropped to 71,304 in 2021, 49,922 in 2022, and further to 36,663 in 2023. In comparison to 2022, there was a 27 per cent reduction in farm fires in 2023.

The reduction was even higher, standing at 49 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively, when compared to 2021 and 2020. In 2020, the farm fire count in Haryana was 4,202 which increased to 6,987 in 2021, then reduced to 3,661 in 2022, and further decreased to 2,303 in 2023. This marks a 37 per cent reduction in 2023 compared to 2022, with reductions of 67 per cent compared to 2021 and 45 per cent compared to 2020.

Delhiites faces problem due to increasing pollution

Anuj Kumar, a local resident, said that he is facing difficulty in breathing during the morning walks. "There is a lot of pollution in Delhi. We face difficulty in breathing during the morning walks. The pollution was reduced a little due to rain but it is still a lot. The government does not make enough effort. The pollution is very high," he said.

Another local said,  "The pollution is very high. It is dangerous for humans. We are using masks during the morning walks. I am a senior citizen and I came here for a morning walk. There is a difficulty in breathing just within 10 minutes. There is construction work going on and there is no rain, that is why the pollution is not settled."

Also Read: Delhi's air quality still in 'very poor' with overall AQI at 318, GRAP Stage-III curbs lifted

Also Read: Delhi: GRAP Stage-III curbs withdrawn as air quality improves



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