The national capital woke up to poor visibility on Wednesday morning due to heavy smog as air quality continues to dip.
Visibility reduced in parts of the national capital as toxic smog engulfed Delhi on Wednesday morning adding to the already dipping air quality.
Air Quality Index (AQI) at 404 (‘severe’ category) in Anand Vihar, as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Delhi’s air quality remained in the ‘severe category’ on Tuesday.
It was the sixth “severe” air day on the trot in Delhi. The city witnessed seven “severe” air days in November last year.
The levels of PM2.5 — which is about three per cent the diameter of a human hair and can lead to premature deaths from heart and lung diseases — were 494 µg/m3 at 5 pm, more than eight times the safe limit of 60 µg/m3.
The PM10 levels stood at 600 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) at 5 pm, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. PM10 levels below 100 µg/m3 are considered safe in India.
According to the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the air quality is considered to be in the “severe plus” or “emergency” category if the PM2.5 and PM10 levels persist above 300 µg/m3 and 500 µg/m3 respectively for more than 48 hours.
The GRAP recommends measures such as a ban on construction activities and entry of trucks, and a car-rationing scheme in such a scenario.
In the wake of the deteriorating air quality and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the National Green Tribunal has imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the national capital region from November 9 to midnight of November 30.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.