The air quality of Delhi, on Tuesday, deteriorated from the 'moderate' category to 'poor' and 'very poor' category in certain parts of Delhi. Weather experts said the cold, dense air trapped pollutants near the ground and even a moderate wind speed of 16 to 18 kilometers per hour could not improve the air quality. As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in several major junctions of the city, like Anand Vihar, the AQI was at 306 with PM 2.5 at 306 and PM10 at 269. In Ashok Vihar, the AQI was recorded at 309 at 9:30 in the morning. While in areas such as Mandir Marg, ITO and Lodhi road, the AQI was 271, 281 and 212.
The share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution is expected to be 10 per cent on Tuesday leading to a subsequent rise in AQI levcels in Delhi. It was four per cent on Monday, as per SAFAR.
Even in the adjoining areas of the capital, the situation seemed morbid with AQI levels in Gurugram (245), Faridabad (240), Noida (238) and Ghaziabad crossing the 'very poor' category. On Monday, as well the air quality in the national capital inched towards "very poor" levels as the mercury dropped to eight degrees celsius, the season's lowest, making the air colder and denser and hampering dispersion of pollutants. 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'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.
Last week, as many as 400 fire personnel were deployed to spray over five lakh litres of water in the city in a bid to tackle air pollution. The ruling government in Delhi has time and again called Haryana and Punjab for stubble burning activities in the sate to be a cause of pollution in the NCR. Studies have also claimed that the pollution in Varanasi and Bihar are also a result of the pollution. The Delhi government has taken many steps to curb pollution, they urged the people to reduce bursting crackers in Diwali and arranged a laser show on the day of the festival. Also, they reintroduced the odd-even scheme and distributed masks to the citizens before the winter season. Smog levels usually shoot up in the region during this season.
On November 25, the Supreme Court had ordered an immediate halt to stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The court also asked the Delhi, hydrogen based fuel technology to find a solution to reduce air pollution in North India & Delhi-NCR. Centre told SC that it is exploring technology, including from Japan, to tackle air pollution. The Centre was then asked to submit a report on it by December 3. The petition, filed by a Noida-based advocate, had alleged that the Delhi government's November 1 notification on the scheme violates fundamental rights. It alleged that the odd-even rule violates citizens' rights to practice any profession, carry out any occupation, trade or business, and to move freely throughout the country.