Delhi's Air Quality Falls, Inches Closer To "Severe" Category

Great Ormond Street is in an area where levels of fine particles are deemed dangerous to health

The experts have however, claimed the high readings might have been a technical glitch despite the fact that air-quality of the region was "very-poor".

According to the Central Pollution Control Board real-time air pollution monitoring, at 6pm on Thursday, the concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were 162.7 micrograms per cubic metre and 349.6 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

Authorities attribute the dip in air quality to localised factors like construction dust, vehicular pollution as well as regional factors like pollution due stubble burning from Punjab and Haryana. The Central Pollution Control Board or CPCB recorded the overall air quality index in the national capital at 358 this morning, which falls in the "very poor" category.

India's capital was covered in a blanket of choking grey air and pollution on Saturday, with government data showing air quality slumping to "severe" or "very poor" levels in nearly all parts of Delhi.

"Delhi needs to reduce pollution by 74 per cent to meet clean air standards".

It has forecast even worse indices for Sunday - 359 (PM10) and 211 (PM2.5). In the NCR, Ghaziabad and Gurugram already recorded "severe" pollution levels, while Noida and Greater Noida breathed "very poor" air. "The weather conditions include wind direction, temperature etc", he said.

"The team found a number of serious violations of dust control measures at the Pragati Maidan redevelopment site, following which the minister directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to take strict action against the violating agency", the environment department said in a statement Friday.

Friday's maximum temperature settled at 30.4 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 15.8 degrees Celsius, both one notch below the season's average.

Meanwhile, SAFAR has also issued a health advisory due to increase in the pollution level of the city.

It also recommended people go for shorter walks instead of jogs, keeping windows closed, and wearing masks while stepping outside.

The recommendations of the health advisory included people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

Environment researcher Kanchi Kohli said that pollution from construction activity is not a seasonal phenomenon.

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