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Delhi continues to grapple with a severe air quality crisis as a thick blanket of smog engulfs the city, persisting in the ‘critical’ category. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), in India, the air quality index (AQI) has consistently remained alarmingly high, surpassing 400 locations in and around Delhi for several consecutive days. As of Monday morning, the overall average AQI soared to a distressing 471, as per SAFAR’s recordings. The ongoing high Delhi air pollution levels have prompted immediate government action, compelling the state authorities to put in effect stringent measures in response to the air quality emergency.
Under the finalized stage of the Delhi air pollution control plan, the state government has mandated a ‘work from home’ policy for 50% of its government staff until further notice. The visible haze and Delhi air pollution have prompted concerns about the health and safety of residents in the region.
Recent data from the Central Pollution Control Board revealed a drastic spike in Delhi’s air quality index, increasing over 200 points since October 27. The recent peak in Delhi air pollution on November 3, hitting a high of 471, was reminiscent of the concerning levels recorded on November 12, 2021. Despite a relatively better wind speed contributing to slight improvements, the ominous haze persists, shrouding the national capital for the sixth consecutive day.
In response to the escalating crisis, Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, addressed a pressing letter to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav. Gopal Rai advocated for stringent measures, proposing the restriction of only CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles in Delhi-NCR. This move aims to mitigate the escalating air quality crisis, especially in anticipation of the upcoming Diwali festival, where further deterioration is expected due to increased air pollution from fireworks and other sources.
The current situation underscores the urgency for immediate action and collaborative efforts to combat air pollution as Delhi and the National Capital Region grapple with the persistent environmental challenge. Stay tuned for live updates on the evolving air quality situation in Delhi and its neighboring regions.