Due to the prevailing weather condition, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has announced to shut the schools till November 5 and has also banned all construction activities. The government has declared a "public health emergency". According to the air quality index (AQI) in Lodhi Road area, major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 were recorded at 500 on Saturday, according to PTI.
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'. Above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.
In pic: Thick smog covers the Humayun's Tomb on Saturday.
On October 31, satellite image from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows smog lingering over New Delhi. New Delhi has banned the use of diesel generators as pollution levels in the capital exceeded safe limits by more than four times. Every winter, New Delhi is enveloped in a noxious blanket of smog of car fumes, industrial emissions and smoke from stubble burning at farms outside the megacity of 20 million people.
Arvind Kejriwal distributed masks to school children as part of the government's initiative to protect them from pollution and also explained children about stubble burning. The Delhi government has procured 50 lakh N95 masks for distribution among children in private and government schools. He said the smoke emanating from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana causes pollution in Delhi.
Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) has slipped into the 'severe plus' category and the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has declared a public health emergency. Experts have advised people to urgently take steps to protect their health.
Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha spoke to ANI about a few steps everyone must take to increase the green cover around them, given the steep increase in pollution. "The condition of the national capital has turned severe as the Air Quality Index has surpassed 200, turning the city into a gas chamber. The use of public transport must be increased, steps to increase green cover shall be taken not only by the government but also by the citizens," said Jha.
The air quality in the national capital and its adjoining regions continued to remain in the 'hazardous category' with the pollution level hovering near 400. Notably, because of the thick blanket of smog in the morning, scores of commuters faced difficulty as the visibility was affected causing slow movement of traffic at the major junctions, PTI reported. (All photos: AFP)
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