Delhi Smog: National capital likely to enter ‘Severe’ Zone

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Delhi Smog

Delhi got wrapped in thick smog due to calm winds on Wednesday. This led AQI at 328, which indicates the ‘very poor’ category of pollution. If the condition remains the same till Friday afternoon will push back the capital into’ sever’ Zone, Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. 

Several places like Nehru Nagar, Dwarka, Rohini, Bawana, and Anand Vihar have been showing readings under ‘severe’ Zone due to the Delhi smog.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre said the pollution level would start going down from Saturday as a western disturbance has started approaching Delhi which will disperse the pollutants over the weekend. 

“Generally light rain and low wind speed become a catalyst for deterioration of air quality. But on Tuesday, the winds will also be stronger, and pollution will be comparatively lower,” he added.   

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the ministry of earth science’s weather and air quality monitoring centre, forecast that the effect of crop stubble burning was 5% in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana and is expected to reach at 4% by Friday.

SAFAR also added that the rise in Delhi smog is due to local sources. It has also warned that light rain will worsen the situation as it will inadequately wash away the pollutants and will increase the moisture levels. 

The anti-pollution authority, EPCA had asked Delhi and NCR to closely observe and inspect the local sources of pollution and crop burning to know about the main reason for predicted dip in air quality.

Meanwhile, the education department has issued an advisory to all the school heads to follow guidelines set by the health department on air pollution. 

The Directorate General of Health Services had already instructed this month to people to be indoors, use masks and public transport and also consult doctors in case of breathlessness or discomfort in the chest.

The health department also instructed elders, children below 5 yrs, pregnant women and persons with poor nutritional status to “strictly avoid outdoor physical activities and remain indoors and keep activity levels low to protect health from pollution.”

The Parliament will discuss the issue today with the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. 

Measures taken

The hot mix plants, ready mix plants, and stone crushers will continue to remain closed, EPCA instructed. The Supreme court has already banned the construction and demolition activities since November 4.

Three hundred teams have been appointed by Delhi Police Control Committee (DPCC) Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, Public Works Department, district magistrates and municipal corporations to identify the violations like the dumping of construction, demolition waste, dumping and burning of garbage and construction activities.

Around 19,100 inspections have been conducted. Also, 14 crores have been spent on pollution, and 99,202 challans have been issued for violation of anti-air pollution laws. Ready-mix concrete plants which have been found violating dust control guidelines have been imposed a hefty penalty.

Various government agencies such as the PWD, Central Public Works Department, National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited, and Delhi Development Authority have been penalized for violation of dust control norms at major construction sites by DPCC. As per the reports Rs, 57 lakh has been deposited by the violators in the last 15 days.

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