Delhi air quality remains in ‘very poor’ category, ‘severe’ levels in some areas

(File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): The air quality in national capital further deteriorated today with some places falling under ‘severe’ category as the level of pollutants rose in the atmosphere.

According to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data, the air quality index (AQI) stood at 422 in Bawana, 423 in Mundka and 416 in Jahangirpuri, all three under “severe” category.

Vivek Vihar and Bawana also recorded “severe” levels of air pollution. Apart from that, the national capital witnessed a thin layer of smog this morning.

However, as per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), winds are expected to increase slightly and air quality may improve in some locations that entered the “severe” zone.

The air pollution levels in Delhi has shot up to severe levels mostly due to stubble burning in Haryana, Punjab and neighbouring regions.

In addition to this, PM2.5 has now become the lead pollutant instead of PM10 as a characteristic of wintertime.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

Delhi government has launched a new campaign recently to tackle pollution in the national capital- ‘Red light on, gaadi off’. People are being appealed to turn off their vehicles while waiting on a traffic signal across the capital.

The poor air quality is likely to affect people’s health. As people gasp for breath, air pollution can lower children’s immune system. Elderly citizens may face also face breathing and other health-related issues. The toxic air increases the risks of cancer, epilepsy, diabetes and even adult-onset diseases like multiple sclerosis.

US President Donald Trump, during his second and final presidential debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden on Friday, used the word “filthy” to describe the air quality in India, China and Russia while justifying the United States’ decision to walk out of Paris climate agreement.