Delhi witnesses ‘very poor’ air quality, pollution level likely to worsen

The pollution in the national capital and Gurugram remained in the `very poor` category as Noida touched the ‘severe’ category on Tuesday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) docking at 376, according to the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

The AQI was recorded the highest in Mathura Road at 394, followed by Chandani Chowk at 393, Dhirpur at 388, Ayanagr at 385, Delhi University at 382, IIT Delhi at 369, Airport at 366, Pusa at 365, and Lodhi Road at 360. The AQI in Noida stood at 416 and at Gurugram at 396. The AQI in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram (441), Anand Vihar (441) and Rohini (440) also dipped to ‘severe’ category’.

The major pollutants of PM2.5 and PM10 were at 456 (severe) and 287 (poor) respectively in Lodhi Road monitoring system, according to AQI data.

SAFAR had said that the air quality is likely to improve slightly on Wednesday due to an increase in wind speed. According to SAFAR, there is no estimate of rain for the next few days. But the sky will remain cloudy.

According to the air quality forecast by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), air quality is likely to deteriorate on Tuesday and may reach the lower end of the severe category. The air quality is likely to improve marginally on Wednesday and may remain in the upper end of the very poor category.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a light fog will be seen on Tuesday and the next two days. Due to this, the level of pollution is likely to reach a serious level.

The Odd-Even scheme, which was implemented in the national capital due to a spike in pollution, will not be applicable on Tuesday due to the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. To ensure the hassle-free commute on the occasion of the Sikh festival, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) decided to do away with the traffic rationalising scheme for Monday and Tuesday.

Earlier, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had said that the AAP government was considering giving relaxation or exemption from the odd-even scheme on these days so as to make the travel of a large number of devotees who are planning to visit Delhi during the Guru Parv.

On November 8, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the commuters in the national capital will not have to face the Odd-Even restrictions on November 11-12. “The decision came after people from the Sikh community requested the government to relax the rules as they celebrate the birth anniversary of their religion`s founder on November 12,” CM Kejriwal had said.

The Delhi government ordered for plying of vehicles under the Odd-Even scheme from November 4-15. The penalty for violating the Odd-Even traffic movement rule has been doubled in 2018 by fixing it at Rs 4,000 as compared to the previous editions of the scheme. The scheme had been introduced in Delhi for the first time in January 2016 with an aim to curb the number of cars on roads and to limit the pollution caused by them. It is applicable in Delhi from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 8 pm.