With a temperature decrease of 12 degrees Celsius, India’s capital experienced its coldest day today. The growing haze in the capital, on the other hand, is becoming a source of concern.
The central pollution control board instructed states and local governments to be “completely prepared” for emergency measures to combat rising air conditions in New Delhi due to a dip in temperature and wind speeds on Friday. A heavy veil of deadly pollution lingered over Delhi, aggravated by an uptick in crop waste burning in nearby farmlands. According to the pollution control board, visibility was impaired, and the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 470 out of 500.
At this amount of pollution, healthy persons will be harmed, and those who already have ailments will be severely harmed. According to the EPA’s “Graded Response Action Plan,” if air quality remains “severe” for more than 48 hours, states and local governments must take emergency measures such as closing schools, imposing ‘odd-even restrictions on private cars based on their license plates, and halting all construction.
The board said in a circular issued late Friday that government and commercial offices should cut their usage of private transportation by 30% and that residents should limit their exposure to the outdoors. “In view of low winds and quiet circumstances during the night,” the board stated, “meteorological conditions will be particularly unfavorable for pollution dispersion until November 18, 2021.”
“This is turning into a nightmare,” said Gufran Beig, creator and project head of the Ministry of Earth Science’s air quality and weather monitor SAFAR. “Fire counts are in the range of 3,000-5,000 and not reducing,” Mr. Beig said, referring to crop stubble fires in the capital’s surroundings.
The dangerous PM2.5 particulate matter content averaged 329 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
The government recommends a PM2.5 reading of 60 micrograms per cubic meter of air over a 24-hour period as a “safe” level.
PM2.5 is small enough to go deep into the lungs and into the bloodstream, causing serious respiratory disorders such as lung cancer.