The national capital’s air quality has deteriorated further, with the AQI approaching 350. The air quality in Delhi was ‘very poor’ on Friday morning, with an AQI of 329. The city was shrouded in a thick grey smog thick with dust.
According to IQAir, Delhi is the world’s second most polluted city, trailing only Pakistan’s Lahore. Anand Vihar in Delhi had the highest AQI of 350.
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Readings between 50 and 100 are considered safe, while anything above 300 is considered hazardous or “severe.”
On October 24, the national capital’s air quality began to deteriorate, with the AQI dropping from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor.’
#WATCH | Delhi: Heavy pollution and toxic foam seen in river Yamuna ahead of #ChhathPuja. Visuals from Kalindi Kunj today. pic.twitter.com/d2BXlTjQQi
— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2022
On October 25, a day after Diwali, Delhi’s 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) was 312, the second best for a Diwali day in seven years. Prior to this, the city had an AQI of 281 on Diwali in 2018.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), stubble burning accounts for 46% of Delhi’s air pollution during the winter months. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana adds to Delhi’s woes. Despite the efforts of the Punjab government, stubble burning has continued as usual this year.
The Delhi government has taken several steps this year to reduce pollution, including the formation of a Special Taskforce to track pollution. The ban on firecrackers was also effectively enforced in Delhi. The Delhi Police established 210 teams led by assistant commissioners of police, while the revenue department established 165 teams and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee established 33.
The four-stage action plan includes several steps to combat air pollution, such as halting construction activities, prohibiting the use of diesel generators, increasing parking fees to discourage the use of private transportation, prohibiting trucks from entering Delhi except for essential services, and even closing schools to limit children’s exposure to air pollution.