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Delhi's AQI 'poor' ahead of Diwali, directions issued for closure of construction sites in NCR

Delhi air pollution: Commission for Air Quality Management said on Saturday that it has issued directions for the closure of 491 construction and demolition sites, including 110 in Delhi, for flouting air pollution control norms.

Sheenu Sharma Edited By: Sheenu Sharma New Delhi Updated on: October 16, 2022 12:44 IST
Delhi Air quality today, Delhi Air quality news, Delhi air pollution, Delhi Air quality data, Delhi
Image Source : PTI/ REPRESENTATIONAL (FILE). Delhi air quality: AQI poor in city, minimum temperature settles at 19.1 degrees Celsius.

Highlights

  • CAQM has issued directions for closure of 491 construction & demolition sites in Delhi-NCR
  • It has set up 40 flying squads to rigorously monitor enforcement and compliance of its directions
  • Delhi's air quality recorded was in the poor category at 218

Delhi air quality: Delhiites woke up to clear skies on Sunday (October 16) with the minimum temperature settling at 19.1 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.

The relative humidity recorded at 8:30 am was 91 per cent, they said.

According to the MeT department, the maximum temperature will hover around 32 degrees Celsius.

The Central Pollution Control Board's 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) data showed that at 8:05 am, Delhi's air quality was in the poor category at 218. 

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.

On Saturday (October 15), the minimum temperature in the national capital settled at 18.8 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average while the maximum settled at 31.6, a notch below the season's average. 

Firecrackers ban:

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has announced a blanket ban on firecrackers during festival of Diwali. 

On October 10, the Supreme Court while hearing the plea by BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, challenging the blanket ban on sale and purchase and usage of firecrackers during the festive seasons, observed that the court would not go back on its previous order.

The Supreme Court said that how can it allow firecrackers even if they are green crackers? "Have you seen the pollution of Delhi," questioned SC to the petitioner.

In 2020, the National Green Tribunal banned the sale of all types of firecrackers in any district with AQI of 201 or more. The air quality index having readings between zero and 50 is termed as 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

Despite the ban on crackers in 2021, the AQI for places in Delhi and those surrounding Delhi too remained poor.  Similarly, the AQI for Delhi on Diwali in 2020 averaged 414 (severe), and in 2019 it was 337 (very poor), while 2018 and 2017 were 281 (poor), 319 (very poor) respectfully.

Closure of construction, demolition sites in Delhi-NCR:

Additionally,  the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said on Saturday (October 15) it has issued directions for the closure of 491 construction and demolition sites, including 110 in Delhi, for flouting air pollution control norms.

The CAQM has set up 40 flying squads to rigorously monitor enforcement and compliance of its directions to ameliorate the air quality of Delhi-NCR.

These flying squads have inspected more than 8,580 construction and demolition sites till October 14. Closure directions have been issued to 491 defaulters- 110 in Delhi, 118 in Haryana, 211 in Uttar Pradesh and 52 in Rajasthan- a statement said.

The flying squads have been conducting surprise inspections and field-level incognito checks at industrial units, construction and demolition sites, commercial and residential units, air pollution hotspots, etc.

The CAQM also advised state implementing agencies, including state pollution control boards and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, to ensure compliance and strict implementation of its directions.

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