Delhi, the capital city of India, continues to grapple with severe air pollution, as the Air Quality Index (AQI) surged to 266, categorizing the air quality as ‘very poor.’ According to data released by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) India, the city’s air quality further worsened to an AQI of 302 on Sunday, painting a grim picture for the residents.
Commission for Air Quality Management Implements 11-Point Action Plan
The Commission for Air Quality Management, in an urgent response to the escalating crisis, invoked an 11-point action plan under Stage-II of the revised Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). This comprehensive plan aims to curb the deteriorating air quality and safeguard public health. Among the measures outlined, restrictions on the use of coal and wood-fired stoves have been imposed in Delhi NCR. Additionally, an increase in parking fees to discourage personal vehicle use, enhanced deployment of CNG/Electric buses and metros, and encouragement for the public to utilize public transport were emphasized.
Specific Air Quality Readings Across Delhi
SAFAR data revealed varied AQI levels across different areas of Delhi. Delhi airport (T3) reported an AQI of 273, while IIT Delhi recorded 228. Noida, a neighboring city, experienced an AQI of 290. However, several areas in Delhi suffered from ‘very poor’ air quality, with Delhi University and Dhirpur recording AQI levels of 316 and 342 respectively. Moreover, areas like Pusa, Lodhi Road, Mathura Road, and Gurugram managed to maintain a ‘moderate’ air quality with AQI values of 200, 173, 132, and 152 respectively.
Enforcement of GRAP Stage 2 in Delhi NCR
To combat the worsening air quality, GRAP Stage 2 has been enforced in the entire National Capital Region. The government’s stringent measures include urging citizens to opt for public transport, choose less congested routes, and minimize the use of personal vehicles. Moreover, the public has been advised to employ technology and replace air filters in their vehicles regularly. Dust-generating construction activities and open burning of solid waste and biomass have been discouraged, particularly during the months from October to January.
Concerns Rise in Specific Areas
Specific areas within Delhi witnessed alarming AQI levels, raising concerns among residents. Anand Vihar breached the ‘very poor’ category with an AQI of 345, while IT0 recorded an AQI of 309. New Moti Bagh and Dwarka Sector-8 were not far behind, with AQI values of 360 and 313 respectively. The gravity of the situation calls for immediate and collective efforts to alleviate the pollution crisis.
As Delhi grapples with this severe air quality crisis, authorities continue to monitor the situation closely. The need for collaborative action, responsible behavior, and adherence to environmental guidelines has never been more crucial. Citizens are urged to stay informed, follow the recommended guidelines, and contribute to mitigating the pollution levels for a healthier, cleaner Delhi.