Delhi's air quality at season’s worst, staying indoors advised

NEW DELHI: Delhi's air quality recorded "severe" levels on Saturday, a day before Diwali. A pall of smog was hanging over the city since morning.

As forecast by IMD and SAFAR, the wind speed was very low, touching zero at times, which caused pollutants to accumulate very close to the surface. The Delhi government, meanwhile, blamed the high pollution levels on the farm stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana. On Saturday, it shared a NASA image from October 26 showing crop fires in these states.

"Agricultural fires in the fields of neighbouring states, particularly Punjab and Haryana, are a major contributor in the deterioration of ambient air quality, which will accentuate due to inversion and calm meteorological conditions currently prevailing," a Delhi government statement said. Environment minister Imran Hussain reiterated his appeal to the residents to stay away from crackers on Diwali. The government had seized illegally-imported crackers at Qutab Roa, Moti Nagar, Rajouri Garden and Patel Nagar recently. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

Delhi's air quality plunges to 'severe' category


New Delhi, Oct 30, 2016, PTI
Delhi's air quality has plunged to 'severe' category, which carries the risk of affecting people's respiratory system, as smoke caused by fireworks, as part of Diwali festivities, blanketed the national capital.

The Centre's System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded the level of respirable pollutants, PM 2.5 and PM 10, at 283 and 517 micrograms per cubic metre respectively around 8 PM, violating the safe limits by multiple times.

The prescribed standards of PM 2.5 and PM 10 are 60 and 100 respectively, and anything beyond that can harm the respiratory system as the ultra fine particulates can embed deep into the lungs and also enter the bloodstream.

SAFAR's monitoring stations at Pusa Road, Mathura Road, Dhirpur, Delhi University, Pitampura as well as neighbouring Noida had air quality in the 'severe' zone.

It had forecast that the city's air will be severely polluted on October 30 and 31.The Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) monitoring stations, in areas like R K Puram, Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg and Shadipur, had similar 'severe' readings as well.

People have been advised not to go outdoors when air quality turns 'severe' as it has adverse effect especially on children, elders and those having heart or lung diseases.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee's (DPCC) real-time readings were also indicative of the increasing levels of pollution with the rise in the numbers of crackers going off.

By 8 PM, DPCC's Punjabi Bagh and Anand Vihar stations had PM 2.5 readings of 202 and 240 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, while PM 10 had risen to 429 and 766 micrograms per cubic metre.

Pollution peaks in the national capital during Diwali as a hazardous mix of noxious gases and respirable pollutants hang very close to the surface due to low temperature and near-stagnant wind movement.

Smoke emanating from farm fires raging across agricultural fields of neighbouring Punjab and Haryana worsens the situation.

3 days to Diwali, city air quality at season lowest

NEW DELHI: Delhi was shrouded in dense smog as pollution levels spiked massively in different parts of the city on Thursday morning, making it the most polluted day of the season so far.

Anand Vihar recorded PM 2.5 (fine, respirable pollution particles) levels of over 500 micrograms per cubic metre between 5am and 11.30am, more than eight ti mes the safe limit. Both R K Puram and Mandir Marg recorded PM 2.5 levels at more than 250 micrograms during the same hours. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India


India’s capital, laboring under the label of being the world’s most polluted city, is trying something new to help clean up its air.

A smartphone application that allows residents to report the presence of construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in New Delhi’s public parks to authorities was launched Friday.

The “Hawa Badlo,” or “Change the Air,” app has two versions. One allows people to take pictures of likely pollutants. The other allows authorities to investigate and act on valid complaints.

Over the last few years, New Delhi has struggled with ways to handle the pollution, which becomes especially obvious during the colder winter months as the city’s air turns to a gray haze. Read more

Courtesy: Macau Daily Times

Can Snitching on Polluters Save Delhi’s Air?

For most of the world, the transition from summer to autumn is in the air. The leaves become a collage of reds, yellows and oranges, while the air becomes cool and crisp, a refreshing change from the summer’s humidity and heat. Yet for the residents of New Delhi, the autumnal relief from the brutal summer months is short lived.

In this city, the most polluted in the world, the cool air also carries a thick cloud of smog along with it and the leafy fall hues are not found on the trees, but rather on the colorful air filter masks donned by Delhites. Each October, New Delhi becomes blanketed in a thick smog which blots out the sky until around March, when patches of blue begin to reappear overhead as the smog retreats. Read more

Courtesy: Motherboard