AQI of Delhi has been deteriorating and The commission for Air Quality management in Delhi has initiated a meeting at 1:30 pm on Friday and had discussed invoking stage 4 for the increasing air pollution which got into the second category for the very first time of this season on Thursday.
The average air quality of Delhi was 475 as at 11 am which broke the record of last year (450) and 2022 (471) which was the peak pollution level for the past two years.
Image Source- Times of India
Delhi’s deteriorating AQI
The rapid growth of smog and worsening AQI have dropped the visibility to 600 metres and 500 metres at Safdarjung and Palam respectively. GRAP ( Graded Response Action Plan) stage 4 is invoked when the pollution level crosses the mark of 450 and then the measures to combat this include ban on trucks and other construction activities in Delhi.
Under GRAP 3 stage measures include, ban on the use of older vehicles. The CQAM have ordered the Delhi and neighbouring governments to ban BS-III and BS-IV diesel four wheelers in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddhanagar. However, no notice for enforcing this order has been issued till late Thursday.
Image Source- abpnews
Due to this worsening pollution level, schools for students till class 5 were kept closed on Friday and Saturday. The AQI near Greater Noida was the worst recorded on Thursday with AQI being at 402 at 4pm which falls under the worst category.
The AQI recorded in Gurugram and Ghaziabad were 297 and 286 respectively which falls under the poor category.
Delhi’s AQI was 362 on Wednesday which is very poor and the major reason that contributed to or is considered the main reason for the increasing pollution is because the pollutants in farm fires of Punjab and Haryana reached up to PM level 2.5. The north-western that Delhi is experiencing in current days brings the polluted smoke due to farm fires of Punjab and Haryana and 1543 farm fires were recorded in these cities on Thursday. The states had earlier in 2022 and 2021 had recorded 1978 fires and 2477 fires in both the years respectively. However due to changes in harvesting and cropping patterns the data available for stubble burning cannot be compared.
With the worsening AQI levels Delhi again becomes the most polluted city in the world with AQI of India’s capital falling under hazardous category. BJP’s Shehzad Poonawala on commenting on this situation said that, Kejriwal is living his life in sheesh mahal but has left the citizens of Delhi to suffer in gas and smog mahal and asked some sharp question on Delhi’s Smog tower which was built for RS 23 crore and was kept shut down for the last 8 months, remained non-operational and pointed out that if it is one more corruption done by AAP. To further this, Delhi’s smog tower has been non-operational and is locked in this tough time.
Image Source- MINT
Environment Minister’s response
Delhi’s Environment Minister conveyed to the media that around 52 MRS machines and vacuum cleaners and water sprinklers have been put to work to anti-smog Delhi in this time of deteriorating air quality levels in the capital of India. He urged Delhi’s people to use public transport and metros to control the levels of air pollution.
The report by Chicago Energy Policy Institute had revealed that the worsening air quality will cause NCR residents to die 12 years earlier.