The overall air quality in Delhi continued to remain in the ‘critical’ category on Monday morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.
As per an analysis conducted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the capital witnessed the highest levels of pollution between November 1 and November 15, coinciding with the spike in stubble-burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana.
As reported by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi, a record-high number of 4,160 farm fires were recorded in northern India on Sunday, marking the highest count for this season.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a legally mandated institution tasked with developing plans to address pollution issues in the area, has requested Delhi and the states in the National Capital Region (NCR) to implement a ban on construction activities associated with linear public projects and enable 50 per cent of government and private office employees to work remotely.
As per reports from authorities, the Transport Department has dispatched 18 teams to ensure compliance with the imposed restrictions.
“We will deploy four to five more teams to enforce the fresh restrictions. The department has a total of 114 enforcement teams,” PTI reported citing an official.
In an attempt to protect young children from the harmful effects of pollution, the Delhi government has made the decision to shut down all primary schools for a period of two days.
It’s important to note that the air pollution issue extends beyond Delhi’s borders, affecting numerous cities in neighbouring regions such as Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, where hazardous air quality conditions have been reported.
Neighbouring Ghaziabad (489), Gurugram (416), Noida (452), Greater Noida (450) and Faridabad (442) also reported hazardous air quality.
PM2.5, which consists of fine particulate matter capable of infiltrating the respiratory system and causing health issues, was found to exceed the government-mandated safe threshold of 60 micrograms per cubic meter by a factor of seven to eight in various locations across Delhi-NCR.
Additionally, it was recorded at levels 30 to 40 times higher than the recommended limit of 15 micrograms per cubic meter established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
(With inputs from PTI)
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Updated: 06 Nov 2023, 07:37 AM IST