Delhi air pollution: Delhi residents continued to gasp for clean air for the fifth successive day as the air quality in the national capital remained in 'Severe' category, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor SAFAR.
The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was registered at 505, which is classified under the 'Severe' category. This means the pollution level in Delhi has deteriorated from Friday when the overall AQI stood at 482.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe.
Although the Delhi-NCR AQI has improved slightly in comparison to last few days, the AQI in many areas still hovers around 300 or above.
The air quality near Lodhi Road was registered at 521 (PM10) and 599 (PM2.5) in the early hours of Saturday. Chandni Chowk, which is one of the busiest areas in Delhi recorded an AQI of 471 (PM10) and 504 (PM2.5) at 6.30 am (Saturday).
Meanwhile, the air quality in the Ghaziabad stood at 500 at 6.00 am. The suburb is considered as the most polluted city in India. Noida too recorded an AQI of 500 (PM10) and 471 (PM2.5).
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will take a final decision on the extension of odd-even rule on November 18 (Monday). "As per weather forecast, air quality in Delhi will improve in the next 2-3 days. If the air quality doesn't improve, we will take a decision on extending odd-even vehicle scheme on November 18," CM Kejriwal said at a press conference on Friday.
Delhiites woke up to a rather thick blanket of smog on Friday. Air quality in the city dipped to 'severe-plus' level. It was the third consecutive day of Delhi's dipping air quality. Friday was the last and final day of the 12-day odd-even car rationing scheme. Odd-even road rationing rule came into effect on November 4.
Meanwhile, schools remained shut on Thursday and Friday as the deteriorating air quality continued to take its toll on the residents in Delhi and adjoining areas and kept most the children indoors on Children's day.
Supreme Court Directive
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a plea challenging the odd-even road rationing scheme in the national capital. The top court also directed it to show the data of pollution in Delhi from October till November 14 this year. The bench also directed Delhi government to submit pollution data from October 1 to December 31, 2018.
"Drastic steps are required to be taken by all concerned working in tandem and to cooperate with each other as it is not an adversarial litigation. Let the authorities concerned discharge their duties in view of Doctrine of Public Trust and rise to the occasion to take care of the pollution which is being caused" said the SC bench in its order.
"Why cannot we have a clean Delhi? Evergreen and ever clean?" The top court's bench stated directing the concerned authorities to clear within a week 13 critical areas in Delhi where pollution levels are higher.