Delhi's air quality stays 'severe,' little respite expected in the near future
Delhi's air quality: The air quality in Delhi remains distressingly 'severe,' with an average Air Quality Index (AQI) of 419 registered on Thursday at 4 pm, marking a continued trend of degradation since Diwali. Earlier readings stood at 401 on Wednesday, 397 on Tuesday, and 358 on Monday, portraying a consistent deterioration.
Friday morning saw Delhi and its adjoining areas shrouded in a noxious smog, with the city's AQI recorded at 404, signaling an ongoing severe condition, as per data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) website.
An official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) highlighted the exacerbating conditions due to calm winds and lower temperatures, conducive to pollutant accumulation. This prognosis indicates an unlikely improvement in the air quality in the forthcoming days. Vehicular emissions significantly contributed to the 'very poor' air quality in Delhi, constituting 25 percent of the overall pollution, according to data shared by the Delhi government and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.
Responding to the critical situation, the Delhi government established a Special Task Force led by Environment Minister Gopal Rai. This six-member team is mandated to enforce regulations, bolster monitoring, and furnish reports aimed at addressing the escalating AQI.
Despite efforts, the two experimental smog towers in Delhi haven't proven effective in curbing air pollution, as conveyed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The maintenance cost of these large-scale air purifiers was deemed unsustainable. The implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) stage 4 by the Delhi government failed to forestall the significant decline in Delhi's air quality post-Diwali.
Reports from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune pointed to agricultural stubble burning contributing to 23 percent of the capital's air pollution on a preceding Wednesday. Projections indicate a reduction to 11 percent on Thursday and a further decline to 4 percent on Friday.
- With inputs from agencies