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Delhi pollution: Air quality deteriorates to 'very poor'; 'severe' in many areas

BusinessToday.In     October 23, 2020

Pollution in Delhi continued to increase and air quality dipped to 'very poor' as well as 'severe' in many areas on Friday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CBCB) data, the air quality index (AQI) at ITO was 356 (very poor category) in the morning. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast deterioration in air quality till October 24.

Here's PM 2.5 concentration in Delhi- NCR on October 23 by CPCB:

  • Jahangirpuri- 567
  • Anand Vihar- 523
  • JLN Stadium- 318
  • India Gate- 339
  • North campus- 437.18
  • Dilshad Garden- 300
  • Lodhi Road- 292.65
  • Nehru Nagar- 379
  • Patparganj- 483
  • Tughlakabad- 364
  • Gurugram- 256
  • Noida (Sector 116)- 521

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'.

PM 2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one-half microns or less in width.  Exposure to PM2.5 particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Whereas, long-term exposure may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.

Amid the rising level of pollution, recently, the Delhi government kick-started its 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' anti-pollution campaign to curb vehicular pollution. The drive will go on till November 15 from 8 am to 8 pm.

High levels of air pollution in Delhi is a year-round problem, which can be attributed to unfavourable meteorological conditions, farm fires in neighbouring regions and local sources of pollution.

According to an analysis by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a Delhi-based think tank, transportation contribute the most -- 18 to 39 per cent -- to Delhi's air pollution.

Road dust is the second-largest source of air pollution in the city (18 to 38 percent), followed by industries (2 to 29 per cent), thermal power plants (3 to 11 per cent) and construction (8 per cent).

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