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Delhi air pollution update: Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' category; NGT seeks action report

Dense smog enveloping the city negatively impacting internal organs of human body, says expert

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- November 04th 2023 07:36 AM -- Updated: November 04th 2023 08:32 AM
Delhi air pollution update: Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' category; NGT seeks action report

Delhi air pollution update: Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' category; NGT seeks action report

New Delhi, November 4: The air quality in Delhi reached the 'severe' category on Saturday, with a hazardous smog covering the national capital.

In response to the 'severe' Air Quality Index (AQI) readings in different parts of Delhi-NCR, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) called upon the Chief Secretaries of the affected states on Friday. They were directed to urgently tackle the situation and submit a report outlining the measures they have taken to address the issue to the Tribunal.

Amid the deteriorating air quality in the capital, the Delhi Government has already implemented a comprehensive ban on all construction activities. On the other hand, owing to the severe air pollution in Delhi, the Bangladesh cricket team decided to call off their training session on Friday. Several members of the team had developed a cough after being outdoors on Thursday, prompting them to opt out of practice ahead of their match against Sri Lanka.

Medical professionals and health experts have strongly recommended that individuals should limit their travel to essential purposes. They emphasise that the dense smog enveloping the city is negatively impacting the internal organs of the human body.

Speaking to ANI, Dr Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant, Respiratory Critical Care Sleep Medicine, at Apollo Hospital, said, "We are in that time of the year where pollution has started to increase once again. The number of patients with breathing problems has gone up significantly. More people are complaining of cough, cold, water and irritation in their eyes, and breathing problems. People across all age groups are being affected. The time has come for us to use masks. The people should exercise caution and go out only when required."

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India, the air quality in Delhi has plunged into the 'severe' category, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 504. Recent ANI drone camera footage from the ITO area revealed a thick haze shrouding the city.

At the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3), the AQI reached a staggering 571, emphasizing the alarming pollution levels in the region. In Dhirpur, Delhi recorded an AQI of 542 on Saturday.

The deteriorating pollution situation in the city has raised concerns among residents, many of whom are experiencing breathing difficulties. One resident, Krishan Kant, expressed, "For the past 3-4 days, pollution levels have been extremely high. The Delhi government must take proactive measures... It has reached a point where we have to wear masks, and we are struggling to breathe."

A similar dire situation was witnessed in Noida, where the AQI plunged to the 'severe' category, registering 576. In Noida's Sector-116, the AQI stood at 426, and in Sector 62, it reached 428, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

Abhay Kumar, a Noida resident, shared his experience, saying, "The pollution levels have increased, and it feels like we are choking... The air feels heavy."

Gurugram was not spared from the pollution crisis, as it recorded an AQI of 512, categorizing the air quality as 'severe.'

Delhi has had the highest levels of PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 in the country since October, and the trend has been consistently upward since 2021, as reported in the Respirer Report.

Given the 'severe' category of the Air Quality Index (AQI) in various parts of Delhi-NCR, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken action. The NGT has sought responses from the Chief Secretaries of the affected states and directed them to take immediate remedial actions. They are required to submit a report detailing the actions taken to address the air pollution issue before the Tribunal.

The NGT, in a statement, highlighted the necessity of immediate action to prevent and control air pollution in these cities, ensuring better air quality for the residents. The statement further mentioned, "In view of the NGT seeks response of Chief Secretaries of the States where the cities AQI has dipped to severe, very poor and poor, are directed to take immediate remedial action and submit action taken report before the Tribunal."

Delhi's air pollution stirs political fight between BJP,  AAP

Severe air pollution in Delhi has sparked a political dispute between the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party. Recently, Bhartiya Janata Party leader Gaurav Bhatia criticized Delhi's Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, for the deteriorating air quality in the national capital. Bhatia expressed that while Kejriwal is known for corruption, he is now also gaining notoriety for his ineffectiveness and unfulfilled promises.

During a press conference, Bhatia remarked, "It's a well-known fact that Kejriwal is associated with corruption. However, his ineffectiveness and empty pledges are becoming equally notorious. The pollution in Delhi poses a significant threat to the public. But, there is someone even more threatening than the pollution, and that's Arvind Kejriwal. His actions are concerning because they seem driven by political opportunism. While expanding the party is commendable, Kejriwal has been in power for 9-10 years and has failed to take substantial measures to combat pollution. The current air pollution crisis is a consequence of Kejriwal's lack of efforts."

- With inputs from agencies


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