Delhi Again Hits Severe Air Pollution Levels, Visibility Down To 200 Metre
The national capital, Delhi woke up to a cold foggy morning on Tuesday with visibility dropping to 200 metre at 8.30 am. The air quality index (AQI) also hit 396, which is very poor at 8 am, that further peaked by 9.30 am to 403 showing severe pollution level. This is the second time, Delhi has hit severe category since Diwali. However, Met officials said that Delhi was witnessing a spell of fog and not smog.
According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board, individual stations in Delhi-NCR recorded AQIs as high as 446 at 9.30 am. 12 out of 19 monitoring stations in NCR recorded severe air quality. The lowest AQI was in Gurgaon at 357 at 9.30 am, which is very poor.
According to response action plan, when AQI hits severe levels, agencies including the municipal corporations, transport departments, state pollution control committees and resident welfare associations are supposed to take counter measures, like, enhancing public transport services with differential pricing to encourage off-peak hour travel, and increasing the frequency of cleaning roads and sprinkling of water on roads.
Areas close to Shadipur, in west Delhi, had the worst air quality at 9.30 am, with a severe AQI of 446. The primary pollutant here was PM2.5, which is considered a finer and more dangerous pollutant. Anand Vihar, which is usually highly-polluted, also had severe air quality with an AQI of 405. However, the primary pollutant here was PM10.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said visibility in the capital was at 200m around 5.30 am on Tuesday, and it had not improved till 8.30 am. “It may clear up by 10.30 am,” said a Met official adding that temperatures had dropped to 17 degrees Celsius early on Tuesday.