People residing in Delhi woke up to a misty morning on Friday with the minimum and maximum temperatures hovering at 31-degree Celsius and 13-degree Celsius. The air quality continued to remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category.
Over the past few weeks, the air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) has remained in the same category with PM (particulate matter) 2.5 hitting an average of 300 during morning hours, according to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR). The overall air quality today docked up at 302 at 8:30 am.
At Dhirpur, the Air Quality Index was 337, while in Mathura Road area it dipped to ‘very poor’ category at 306. Furthermore, Air Quality Index near Pitampura, Airport Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 327, 168 and 282 respectively.
Due to increase in the PM 10 levels, regions such as Dwarka, Mundaka, Rohini and Anand Vihar registered “severe” air-quality.
Delhi people are finding it tough to carry out their daily activities as air turns hazardous.
Ashok Mathur, a businessman said, “Nowadays I can’t even go out for a few minutes without a mask. Without using one, I suffer from fatigue and breathlessness. It is high time that the Government must do something. The leaders must introduce certain programmes so that the residents can be aware of the causes of air pollution and can take precautionary measures as and when required.”
Another resident of Lodhi road was of the view that despite Centre taking several actions to fight air pollution, no improvement was registered in Delhi’s air quality index. “Though the government has taken certain steps but we cannot see any improvement in the quality of air,” he said.
Taking the cognizance of the prevailing situation, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has made certain recommendations to the Supreme Court to fight air pollution.
In its dossier, the Central Pollution Control Board recommended banning of industrial, construction and demolition activities in the major hotspot areas where air quality deteriorated. Stringent actions must be taken against the defaulters breaching pollution laws put in place by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, traffic police and other agencies, the organisation said.
Delhi, which is home to approx 19 million people, is living under severe air pollution from the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year as pollution levels shot through the roof and even forced shutdown of schools. Moreover, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had described the capital as a gas chamber and local administration was compelled to declare it a public health emergency.