Delhiites woke up to hazy skies and smog as the air quality index in Delhi remained in the 'poor' category on Saturday. The national capital recorded an AQI of 262, slightly higher than Friday, when the average AQI was 239. An AQI between 0-50 is seen as good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 poor,301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe.
National capital's AQI is expected to exacerbate due to the stubble burning and farm fires in neighbouring states. Meanwhile, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar attributed the rise in air pollution in national capital to local factors, drawing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's ire.
Kejriwal tweeted, "Staying in denial will not help. If stubble burning causes only 4% pollution, then why has pollution suddenly increased last fortnight? Air was clean before that. Same story every year. There's no massive jump in any local source of pollution in last few days to cause this spike?"
With increasing air pollution levels in the national capital, people are reporting breathing problems and children have also started reporting throat infections due to worsening air quality. Not only increase in breathing problems and throat infections, high levels of air pollution can also exacerbate the COVID-19 situation across the country.
Meanwhile, authorities of the South Zone and the Najafgarh Zone of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) have taken stringent measures to control pollution including action against burning of solid waste, dry leaves, plastic, rubber, garbage and construction activities.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal with PTI inputs
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