New Delhi: The overall air quality in the National Capital continues to be in the ‘severe’ category for the fifth straight day, as per the Central Pollution Control Board.
According to the data issued by the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India), the air quality in the National Capital was recorded at 488, up from 410 a day ago.
- In view of the increasing pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called a high-level meeting on Monday, officials said.
- The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Sunday decided to invoke Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the entire National Capital Region (NCR) with immediate effect to prevent further deterioration of air quality.
- The Air Quality Commission said that Stage IV will be implemented in addition to the restrictions placed under Stage I to III.
- According to the 8-point action plan, there will be a ban on entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except for trucks carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services and all LNG/ CNG/ electric trucks). Also, a ban will be imposed on the plying of Delhi-registered diesel-operated Medium Goods Vehicles (MGVs) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in Delhi, except those carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services.
- GRAP Stage-IV restrictions also include NCR State Govts and GNCTD may take a decision on discontinuing physical classes even for classes VI-IX, and class XI and conduct lessons in an online mode.
- According to doctors, for any healthy person, a recommended AQI should be less than 50, but these days the AQI has spiked beyond 400, which could prove fatal for those suffering from lung-related diseases and even poses a risk of lung cancer.
- The cases of stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab are the major sources of air pollution in the city.
Meanwhile, a similar situation was witnessed in Bathinda, Punjab where the AQI remained in the (very poor) category with an overall Air Quality Index recorded at 215.
- Locals spoke to ANI and appealed to the government to stop farmers from stubble burning as air pollution in the region continues to deteriorate.
- “Do not let the farmers set the stubble on fire. The smoke will cause great health problems to the people,” locals said.
- NGT in a statement said that immediate action is required for the prevention and control of air pollution in these cities so as to ensure better air quality to the residents.