Thick smoke engulfs Delhi, schools shut as air quality reaches “severe” category

New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) Despite the various preventive measures taken by the government, the air quality in the national capital on Friday recorded in the “severe” category, with the Air Quality Index crossing the 400 mark at various places.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI in Lodhi Road area was recorded at 438, whereas in Jahangirpuri at 491, in RK Puram area at 486, and around IGI Airport (T3) at 473.

The worst AQI was recorded at 498 in Mundka, followed by 496 in Bawana.

Moreover, the AQI at multiple locations in Noida also plunged to the ‘severe’ category, with Sector 62, Sector 1, and Sector 116 recording 483, 413, and 415, respectively.

In view of the deteriorating situation, the government has imposed the Graded Response Action Plan, GRAP Stage 3, on Thursday.

It has enforced a strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire National Capital Region.

The Committee has asked to ensure daily water sprinkling along with dust suppressants and intensify the frequency of vacuum-based sweeping of roads.

On Thursday, the city government ordered the closure of all primary schools for two days (Friday and Saturday).

This is in addition to the ban imposed on non-essential construction activities and on the plying of BS-3 petrol and BS-4 diesel cars in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Buddh Nagar.

To reduce the impact of the pollution, the city government has launched “Red Light On Gaadi Off” to curb vehicular pollution and plans to hire 1,000 private CNG buses to strengthen public transport and reduce vehicular pollution.

The Delhi Metro is also set to increase its train services by an additional 20 trips across its network, effective November 3.

“In light of the implementation of GRAP-III to combat pollution in Delhi, the DMRC will be introducing an additional 20 train trips across its network, starting tomorrow, November 3, 2023 (Friday),” stated the DMRC in an official announcement.

With a surge in farm fires and unfavorable weather conditions, scientists are cautioning about an anticipated rise in pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR region over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, health experts are concerned about the potential increase in asthma and respiratory issues, particularly among children and the elderly.

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