New Delhi, Nov 15: Delhi’s air quality has shown a little improvement but it remianed ‘very poor’ on Tuesday. The very poor quality of air has prompted the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) to continue with the emergency measures such as a ban on trucks and construction in the capital city. On Tuesday, the air quality index (AQI) of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was 308; it had shot up to 500, a week before.

At 5 PM on Tuesday, PM2.5 and PM10 were at 259.8 and 389.2 micrograms per cubic metre respectively. The emergency levels are considered when the readings cross 300 and 500 respectively. The ‘very poor’ quality means that the people may develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure. The instructions under GRAP will remain imposed until air quality levels see improvement for at least 48 hours. (Also Read: Don’t Gift Infected Lungs to Children, NGT Tells Kejriwal Govt Over Delhi Pollution)

The air quality is likely to improve on Wednesday (November 15). Lights rains are also expected in some parts of the city, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) member secretary A Sudhakar was quoted as saying by PTI. The improvement in air pollution has happened due to rise in mixing height (where air and suspended particulates mix), surface wind gaining speed, which aided rapid dispersion of pollutants, and measures implemented under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). (Also Read: NGT announces 1 lakh fine on those violating construction ban)

“We are not relaxing anything as of now. The CPCB task force will meet tomorrow and the day after and suggest future course of action as drizzle is expected. Sudden relaxation and re-imposition become troublesome for enforcing authorities. So we will take further decisions only when the prevailing trend of improvement persists,” Sudhakar told PTI.

The Environment Ministry has asked the state pollution control boards to intensify their action against violators, especially the industrial and construction sectors, to curb air pollution in the Delhi-NCR.

On Tuesday, the Arvind Kejriwal government filed a petition requesting the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to exempt two-wheelers and women drivers for one year or till 2,000 additional buses are engaged. The NGT, however, rejected the Delhi government’s plea that women and two-wheelers be exempted from the odd-even scheme.

A few hours later, a fresh petition was filed before the NGT seeking odd-even scheme for the states adjacent to Delhi. This will include cities within the NCR region.