Pollution Level Severe for Third Consecutive Day in Delhi

Delhi Records Second Highest Pollution Level This Year People Advised to Minimise Outdoor Activities as Air Quality Turns 'Severe'

Delhi Air Quality

Amid "severe" air pollution quality in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hinted on Tuesday that the state government might re-introduce the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme if needed.

The CPCB has recommended to the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to shut down industries located in the hotspot industrial areas of Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad and Faridabad until Wednesday.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index value in Delhi-NCR on Tuesday was at 408 with major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 266 and 405, respectively, on an average.

In terms of pollution, Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) at 4 p.m on Wednesday was recorded at 384 (very poor), against Tuesday's "severe" air quality of 409.

As per the global air quality monitoring platform AirVisual, Delhi's pollution at the "hazardous" level with 317 US AQI (Air Quality Index) with PM2.5 air pollution.

Urging the public to join hands with the government in reducing the formation of toxic air, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal said "If the need arises, we will soon implement the odd-even scheme in the capital".

The IMD said prolonged period of light winds and low temperature are likely to continue for the next three to five days, resulting in poor dispersion of pollutants and the current severe air quality may continue for next two to three days. Noida recorded the worst air quality with an AQI of 464.

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In terms of pollution, Delhi's air quality continued to remain "poor" on Sunday at 282, a slight increase from Saturday's AQI of 261. Experts say that the "severe" air quality level makes breathing hard even for healthy people.

Many Delhi residents were forced to spend Christmas indoors this year as air quality remained at "severe to emergency" levels for a fourth day, in the Indian capital's worst smog crisis this year. In view of the city's severe air quality, authorities have advised people to minimise outdoor activities and avoid use of private vehicles.

"The situation might improve slightly but is likely to continue in severe category until afternoon of Dec.26, when wind speeds will pick up and improve dispersion of pollutants", said a task force headed by the CPCB. On Sunday, the year's second highest pollution was recorded at an AQI of 450.

In a health advisory, the SAFAR has asked Delhiites not to rely on common dust masks for protection.

"If the room has windows, close them, if the air conditioner provides a fresh air intake option then choose it, avoid burning anything such as wood, candle or even an incense", it said.

The index on Tuesday was 5,000 sqm/second on Tuesday, the IITM said.

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