May 19, 2024
Delhi continued to see “very poor” air quality on Tuesday, with an air quality index (AQI) of 323, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR-India). After a marginal improvement on Sunday, Delhi’s air quality had slipped into the “very poor” category on Monday.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), at 7:41 AM, Anand Vihar saw an AQI of 374, and Jahangirpuri registered an AQI of 399. AQI at Lodhi Road was recorded at 315 and in New Moti Bagh at 370.

AQI.CN pegged the air quality index (AQI) in Parparganj at 292. The AQI in Mundka was recorded at 331, whereas in R K Puram, AQI was at 311. 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”, 401 and 450 “severe”, and above 450 “severe-plus”.

In an interview with The Indian Express, former All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria issued a warning on the hazardous effects of escalating air pollution levels in Delhi. Elucidating on the immediate and long-term health risks associated with poor air quality, the veteran pulmonologist called for urgent action. Citing studies indicating stunted lung growth in children and heightened risks of stroke, heart attacks, and dementia in the elderly, Guleria outlined the critical impact on various age groups.

On Monday, various farmer bodies in Punjab organised protests at the offices of deputy commissioners (DCs) and sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) at many places, seeking the withdrawal of cases registered against farmers for burning stubble.

Demanding a long-lasting solution for paddy straw, the protesting farmers brought stubble-laden trolleys to several offices of DCs and SDMs. The call for the four-hour protest was given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (non-political) and 18 other farmer bodies.

Notably, the Centre on Saturday lifted Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP-IV) restrictions, including a ban on construction work related to linear projects and the entry of polluting trucks into Delhi, because of the fall in air pollution levels.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body, asked Delhi to lift all emergency measures, under which only compressed natural gas (CNG), electric and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states are allowed to enter Delhi, with exemptions granted to those involved in essential services.