Delhi-NCR continues to breathe toxic air, pollution nears 'emergency' zone

Photo: PTI
The air quality in Delhi-NCR remained in "severe" category on Friday morning as blame game continued betweeen political parties for the crisis.

The air quality index (AQI) in the national capital read 482 at 6:30 am with particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels at 332 and PM 10 levels at 504 at 6:30 am on Friday.

However, wind speed is predicted to pick up on Saturday and a gradual decline in pollution is likely thereafter.

In NCR, Ghaziabad (467), Greater Noida (462), Gurgaon (447), Faridabad (446) and Noida (470) also reeled under the toxic smog.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'.

Delhi: Major pollutant PM 2.5 at 489 (severe category), at ITO, according to Central Pollution Control Board

— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2019
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and EPCA are likely to review the situation on Friday. 

Also, the Delhi government did not take any decision on Thursday on extending the odd-even road rationing scheme, which enters its final day on Friday.

Delhi: Major pollutants PM 2.5 & PM 10, both at 500 (severe category), in Lodhi Road area, according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data.

— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2019
Meanwhile, political blame game continued over the situation in Delhi and nearby regions with the AAP hitting out at the Centre for not taking "concrete steps" to tackle the menace despite the apex court's directions in this regard.

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged that the BJP is trying to "politicise" a sensitive issue.

Ghaziabad: Two construction companies fined

The Ghaziabad district administration has imposed hefty fines on two construction companies for violating air pollution control norms.

District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said a fine of Rs 1.01 crore was imposed on APCO company which was involved in construction of a road near the embankment of Hindon river in Indirapuram. Similarly, a fine of Rs 1.01 crore was imposed on Apex company in Siddhartha Vihar colony, Pandey said. 

In the last 10 days, 267 people were found guilty of increasing pollution by burning garbage and e-waste.

HC pulls up Delhi govt, suggests clutch of measures

The Delhi High Court on Thursday pulled up the AAP-led Delhi government and other authorities over increasing air pollution levels in the city and suggested a clutch of measures to bring it down.

The court said the problem lies in the complete lack of will showed by the authorities to implement the ideas to bring down the levels of air pollution.

The bench suggested a series of measures and said during the months of October till January no fresh infrastructure should be demolished. It also asked the authorities to take steps to ensure that the building materials are not left uncovered.

To tackle the streamlining of the traffic in the city, it asked the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and other municipal corporations to take necessary steps to deal with encroachment on the roads.


Stubble burning in Punjab is likely to abate by the end of the month

While an air pollution emergency is playing out in Delhi NCR, stubble burning in Punjab is likely to abate by the end of the month as wheat sowing has already covered 60 per cent of the area.

Sucha Singh Gill, Professor, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh said that wheat sowing has already covered 60 per cent of Punjab and stubble burning is likely to come down significantly in the next 5-10 days. Experts say the major chunk of the stubble burning for the current season may have got over.

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