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Public health emergency declared in Delhi due to pollution, construction banned

November 1, 2019 1:56 PM |


The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has declared Public Health Emergency in Delhi this morning, due to the rising pollution as AQI keeps touching new levels every other day. The authority has banned construction activity till November 5 and bursting crackers during the Winter Season.

Delhi’s pollution level is seeing no dip since Diwali. According to the data available with Skymet, AQI in Delhi plunged overnight, increasing by about 50 points and being reported close to 459.

This signals, that the AQI over Delhi has now entered "severe plus" or "emergency" category late Thursday night. This is the first time since January this year.

If the air quality persists in the "severe plus" category for more than 48 hours, emergency measures such as odd-even car rationing scheme, banning entry of trucks, construction activities and shutting down schools are taken under the Graded Response Action Plan.

Otherwise Delhi was supposed to observe the odd-even car rationing scheme November 4 onward. However, the present scenario suggests otherwise.

The hazardous pollution levels are forcing Delhiites to skip stepping outside. People are advised to remain indoors. Air pollution has become a serious health concern for about 2 crore residents of the city. Numerous people are reporting throat infections arising because of rising pollution. People are seen wearing masks while commuting and stepping outdoors. Sale of masks have grown exponentially since Diwali. Residents suffering from asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory illness need to take special precaution in this case. Not to ignore intake of every 22 micrograms per cubic metre of polluted air is equivalent to smoking a cigarette.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe". Above 500 is "severe-plus or emergency" category.

Delhi keeps on counting on favorable meteorological conditions either in the form of strong winds or rains that wipes away the toxic air. Some relief from bad air might prevail November 3 onward as weather experts anticipate increased wind speed due to a fresh Western Disturbance approaching the Himalayas.

Image Credits – NDTV

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