New Delhi: Though the national capital received mild showers on Sunday, air quality index (AQI) continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category for sixth straight day. The AQI stood at 492 in Bawana, 487 in ITO crossing, 482 in Ashok Vihar, 486 in Vasundhara and 482 in Indirapuram area, all falls in ‘severe’ category.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’. Above 500 is ‘severe-plus or emergency’ category.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the city won’t get any relief till November 6. “Presently, there is negligible wind in Delhi. Wind direction will change after Nov 6 and rainfall may also occur. There will be a relief once it happens,” Singh said.
On Friday, an unprecedented public health emergency was declared in Delhi-NCR due to the rising levels of air pollution post-Diwali. “This is a public health emergency as air pollution is now hazardous and will have adverse health impacts on all particularly the children,” Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority was quoted by a report as saying. The EPCA also banned construction activities in Delhi-NCR till November 5.
Speaking at an event on Friday, CM Kejriwal referred Delhi as a ‘gas chamber’ and blamed Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for not being able to stop stubble burning in their respective states. Kejriwal stated that stubble burning was contributing to the rise in pollution levels in Delhi.
The governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on Saturday also called for urgent intervention by the Centre to develop and implement a joint plan with the states to address the ‘serious’ situation.
Meanwhile, CM Kejriwal wrote to Javadekar saying air pollution “is not a Delhi specific issue, it is a North India issue and therefore, requires a North India solution under the “chairmanship” of the Union Minister. Haryana CM Khattar also wrote to Javadekar requesting him to convene a meeting of chief ministers of Delhi and neighbouring states to prepare a joint strategy to address the problem of severe pollution in the National Capital Region.