Toxic smog continues to suffocate Delhi
New Delhi: Delhi breathed poison yesterday with pollutants touching calamitous levels, as a thick grey smog hung low across the region, prompting authorities to shut schools till Sunday, halt construction activities and ban entry of trucks in the city.
Hospitals recorded a surge in patients complaining of respiratory problems. PIC/PTI
Lt Governor Anil Baijal approved the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority's decision to enforce these measures enlisted under the 'severe plus' or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in a meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Hospitals recorded a surge in the number of patients complaining of respiratory problems, reminiscent of the '1952 Great Smog of London' which killed 4,000 prematurely when average PM levels were about 500 microgramme per cubic metre. The day-long average air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had a score of 478 on a scale of 500, indicating 'severe' levels of pollution, while many individual stations recorded AQI as high as 487.