Delhi's air quality remains 'severe' for 4th day

Flight departures at Delhi airport are on hold for the past hour

According to experts, the spike in pollution levels this time was largely due to meteorological factors; low wind speed and high relative humidity trapped local pollutants emitted by vehicles, industries and other sources such as garbage burning.

With pollution reaching severe levels, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the Centre should call a meeting of Delhi's neighbouring states to discuss the issue as air doesn't follow a boundary and only one state can not check it. The index was 5500 sqm/second Wednesday, the IITM said.

As temperatures dipped in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), the homeless people, who are the worst sufferers in the chilly weather season, continued to turn towards crowded night shelters in different parts of the city to escape the icy cold winds.

However, the agency said moderate to dense fog conditions will prevail for the next two days over Delhi and surrounding regions and may not allow significant improvement.

The overall PM2.5 level - fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometer - was recorded at 220 and the PM10 level at 341 here, the CPCB said. The air quality remained "severe" Monday and Tuesday before moving to the "very poor" category Wednesday morning. The air quality index (AQI), the overall marker for the city's air pollution was 409 while on Monday it had touched 450. In a letter to Delhi chief secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal also said that all construction activities in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, and Noida will be stopped till December 26.

The EPCA directed the traffic police to deploy special teams and ensure congestion-free traffic flow particularly in identified high traffic corridors.

Speaking to the media, he said the Delhi government was doing its part, but everyone should contribute to reducing the air pollution. An index value higher than 400 is categorised "severe".

Agencies have been also asked to intensify ground actions and make all efforts to control polluting activities, particularly waste burning.

The advisory also recommended frequent wet mopping and use of masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators only for outdoor activities.

The air quality in nearby Ghaziabad was "severe" in the afternoon but improved to "very poor" by the evening.

In its forecast for the next few days, SAFAR said that surface wind speed is expected to increased from existing 2.3 kmph to 5 kmph.

Vertical mixing in the room that is available for pollutants to disperse. The air quality will remain in the very poor range for the next three days.



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