NEW DELHI: Delhi’s air quality has plummeted back into the “severe” category, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) soaring above 400 on Monday. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reported the alarming figures around 7 AM on Monday, highlighting the return of the hazardous haze over the national capital.

Persistent Haze Grips Delhi, AQI Reaches Disturbing Levels

Despite a brief respite, Delhi finds itself ensnared in a toxic shroud once again, with the AQI entering the “severe” zone. Drone visuals captured a thick layer of haze over the iconic Signature Bridge and its surroundings, emphasizing the gravity of the situation. The overall Air Quality Index stood at a concerning 393, firmly placing the city in the ‘very poor’ category.

Specific Areas Record Alarming AQI Levels

The severity of the air pollution crisis is evident in specific areas, with Anand Vihar and Ashok Vihar recording AQI levels of 433 and 434, respectively. Bawana and Jahangirpuri fared no better, registering AQI figures of 437 and 450, firmly falling into the severe category. Even the prominent ITO and IGI airport reported AQI levels in the “very poor” range, further emphasizing the widespread impact.

The Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered ‘good’, 100 to 200 ‘moderate’, 200 to 300 ‘poor’, 300 to 400 ‘very poor’ and from 400 to 500 or above ‘severe’. 

Measures Taken Amid Escalating Pollution Concerns

In response to the escalating pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai convened a meeting to address the critical situation. Rai highlighted the key contributors to the rising pollution levels, citing vehicle emissions (36%) and biomass burning. Stringent measures, including the implementation of GRAP 3 rules for controlling vehicle pollution and monitoring biomass burning by relevant organizations, were discussed in the meeting.

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Rai expressed optimism about the improving air quality, attributing it to an anticipated increase in wind speed and the possibility of rain over the next two days. Despite the recent relaxation of certain restrictions, stages 1 to 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) remain in effect.

IMD Issues Alerts, Heavy Rains Forecasted In Multiple Regions

As Delhi grapples with deteriorating air quality, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an orange alert for several regions in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is predicted over southeast Rajasthan, North Madhya Maharashtra, and Gujarat in the next 24 hours. Additionally, the forecast includes light to moderate rainfall in isolated places across Punjab, Haryana, West Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.

The IMD’s weather bulletin outlines expectations of heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Karaikal on November 26, followed by Vidarbha on November 27 and 28. Southwest Madhya Pradesh is also anticipated to experience isolated heavy downpours over the next two days. As the air quality crisis in Delhi unfolds, the weather dynamics in other regions introduce a multifaceted challenge for residents and authorities alike.

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I4K Staff

India 4 Kashmir is a Pan-India movement to reclaim our lost ground and rehabilitate common Indians in Kashmir with dignity and honour.