The smog envelops the north of Delhi-NCR again; schools close until Friday
NEW DELHI: The Harmful smog As a result of forest fires and unfavorable weather, it pushed pollution in Delhi-NCR to the emergency zone on Wednesday, which led authorities to order School closings until November 15, for the second time in two weeks.
Since the Central Pollution Control Board fears that a similar situation will prevail in the next two days, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that odd The road rationing scheme can be extended if necessary.
The Environmental Pollution Authority (Prevention and Control) (EPCA) also extended restrictions to dirty fuel-based industries in Delhi-NCR, hot-mix plants and stone crushers until the morning of November 15, as the department de MeT said that strong winds are expected on Friday, which will reduce the levels to the very poor category.
Schools in the national capital will be closed on Thursdays and Fridays, the Delhi government said.
On November 1, the EPCA panel ordered by the Supreme Court declared a public health emergency as air pollution approached emergency levels and the administration ordered the closure of schools until November 5.
The city's general air quality index read 456 at 4 p.m., compared to 425 at 4 p.m. Tuesday
Rohini and Dwarka Sector-8 were the most contaminated areas with an AQI of 494, followed by Nehru Nagar (491) and Jahangirpuri (488).
Faridabad (448), Ghaziabad (481), Greater Noida (472), Gurugram (445) and Noida (479) also drowned in extremely polluted air.
In the neighboring districts of Haryana, Hisar and Bhiwani (470) reported the worst air quality, followed by Jind (445), Fatehabad (430), Sirsa (415), Rohtak (412) and Panipat (408).
In Punjab, Amritsar's AQI was 362, followed by Bathinda (333), Patiala (285) and Jalandhar (276).
An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. An AQI above 500 falls in the category 'more severe'.
PM 2.5 levels, small particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even into the bloodstream, broke the emergency threshold of 300 micrograms per cubic meter in Delhi-NCR on Tuesday night and fired up to 354 micrograms. per cubic meter, about six times the safety limit of 0-60, in the morning.
PM10 levels increased to 506 micrograms per cubic meter in the morning, more than five times the safe limit of 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
According to meteorological experts, a drop in temperature and wind speed led to the accumulation of pollutants. The problems were compounded by a layer of clouds that blocked sunlight.
Stubble burning incidents in Haryana and Punjab have increased and northwest winds have brought more plumes of agricultural fires to the Delhi-NCR region, they said.
However, they said, the situation is likely to improve on Friday with an increase in wind speed due to a new western disturbance and a fall in agricultural fires.
A large number of children were exposed to the harmful increase in pollution, as schools remained open on Wednesday.
Photos of school-age children with their faces covered with masks and anti-pollution handkerchiefs were widely shared on social networks.
Dozens of people also posted photos of the open burning of garbage and piles of construction and land debris discovered in various areas of the city.
As the air quality approached emergency levels for the third time in less than fifteen days, Kejriwal said the road rationing scheme could extend beyond November 15.
In response to this, the Minister of Environment of the Union, Prakash Javadekar, said: We have seen that within 10 days after the implementation of the odd scheme, it reached (600) to 200 (AQI). Therefore, I do not want to enter into what connection you have with odd-even.
The plan, implemented as of November 4, will end on November 15. It resumed on Wednesday after a two-day suspension of restrictions in view of the 550th anniversary of the birth of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev.
Both Javadekar and Kejriwal blamed the burning of stubble for repeated episodes of smog and a harmful peak of pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The burning of stubble accounted for 40 of the pollution in the national capital, but blaming and cursing each other will not help, Javadekar said.
Kejriwal said that smog in Delhi has affected his image worldwide.
He said that the continuous efforts of the people of Delhi reduced pollution by 25 percent, but neighboring states, especially Haryana and Punjab, continue to burn crop residues without taking into account the strict instructions of the Supreme Court, denying all the achievements until now.
He reiterated that rice straw can be used to produce compressed natural gas and coal, which will also increase farmers' incomes.
Disturbed by the depletion of air quality, the Supreme Court also ordered the Center to explore the viability of a hydrogen-based technology as a permanent solution to air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region and other parts of northern India .
According to the government's air quality monitor, SAFAR, the proportion of stubble burning in pollution in Delhi was 22 percent on Wednesday. It was 25 percent on Tuesday.
Heavy pollution spread over Delhi-NCR for about a week after Diwali as a result of firecracker emissions, stubble burning and unfavorable weather.
Last week, the main court had arrested the Center and state governments for their inability to stop burning stubble in Punjab and Haryana and control air pollution in Delhi.
He also ordered that all farmers receive an incentive of Rs 100 per quintal to avoid setting fire to their fields in preparation for the next crop, and to provide them with free machines to dispose of agricultural waste.
The period between October 15 and November 15 is considered critical, since the maximum number of stubble burning incidents takes place in this period in Punjab and in the adjacent states, which is one of the main reasons for the increase alarming pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Despite the ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, farmers continue to challenge it for lack of financial incentives.