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Delhi pollution: CM Arvind Kejriwal chairs high-level meeting as air quality worsens

Pollution levels in Delhi have remained in the ‘severe’ category for the past few days recording an air quality index (AQI) of above 400 range at several locations in the national capital.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: November 06, 2023 12:29 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at meeting
Image Source : ANI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at meeting

Delhi pollution: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday chaired a high-level meeting amid rising pollution levels in the national capital. Ministers Gopal Rai, Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj and officers from the concerned departments were also present in the meeting.

The meeting comes at a time when the National Capital Region (NCR) has been battling ‘severe’ air pollution over the past few days.  

AQI remains in  'severe' category

A thick suffocating blanket of toxic smog continues to cloak Delhi today as the air quality remains in the 'severe' category, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Pollution levels in Delhi have remained in the ‘severe’ category for the past few days recording an air quality index (AQI) of above 400 range at several locations in the national capital. Stage IV of GRAP was invoked in Delhi-NCR on Sunday in view of the worsening air quality.

The AQI in most areas across the city remained in the 'severe' category at 8 am. Most monitoring stations across Delhi recorded an air quality index (AQI) of above 400. AQI was recorded at at 466 in RK Puram, 402 in ITO, 471 in Patparganj and  488 in New Moti Bagh.

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometer) was recorded at 321 and the PM10 level at 488 in Delhi. 

The persistent air pollution has forced people to be choked and compelled them to stay indoors. The neighbouring national capital region has witnessed a similar fate which has also continued to see an AQI in the ‘Severe’ category. A thick layer of haze engulfed the capital city as people woke up gasping for breath.

Noida also woke up to 'severe' air quality with almost all of its monitoring stations recording over 616 AQI as of 8 am. Gurugram, also in NCR, also recorded 'severe' category air quality with AQI at 516. 

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. Anything beyond 500 falls under the 'hazardous' category.

Stage 4 of GRAP activated, schools closed

In view of the increasing air pollution levels in the national capital, the Delhi government) announced that the primary schools will stay closed in the city till November 10. However, for classes 6 to 12, schools have been given an option to conduct online classes.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has made the decision to implement Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) across the entire National Capital Region (NCR) with immediate effect. This decision comes in addition to all actions already outlined under Stages I, II, and III of the plan. The primary objective of this move is to prevent any further deterioration of air quality in the NCR, as reported by the news agency ANI.

These measures include a ban on construction work related to linear public projects in the region and restrictions on the entry of polluting trucks and commercial four-wheelers into the capital. Normally, Stage IV is activated at least three days before the Air Quality Index surpasses the 450 mark in Delhi. However, this time, the implementation is reactive due to the worsening air quality.

Under Stage IV, only CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states are allowed to enter Delhi, with exceptions for those engaged in essential services. Medium and heavy goods vehicles not involved in essential services are entirely banned in the capital, as per the latest CAQM order.

Also Read: Delhi remains under blanket of smog as air quality continues to be severe, GRAP IV imposed

Also Read: Stage 4 of GRAP activated in Delhi-NCR as air quality deteriorates further

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