Delhi air pollution in severe category for second time in a week

first_imgDelhi’s air quality plunged into the most dangerous category on Monday, two days before Diwali when bursting of firecrackers, however limited, is likely to worsen the situation dramatically.Pollution was “severe” – the sixth and the last stage on the air quality index (AQI). This has happened for a second time in a week, due to a change in wind direction and rampant crop stubble burning in neighbouring states, authorities said.Wind blew from the northwestern region towards Delhi, bringing with it dust and smoke. A thick haze engulfed the city and experts warned the air quality is likely to worsen further due to local factors.The overall AQI reading was 418, a drastic decline from a day before when it was “moderate” at 171. On Sunday, Delhi had breathed the cleanest air in three weeks. The air quality turned “severe” for the first time this season on October 30.On Monday, morning walkers, joggers, cyclists and fitness and sports enthusiasts, who regularly visit India Gate, wore pollution masks and complained about a burning sensation in the throat and chest.”We have been coming to India Gate lawns to run for a decade. If this is the level of pollution before Diwali, then what is the government doing?” asked Sameer Singh Aulakh. Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit expressed concern.”This is a tragedy. We are concerned about the health of citizens of Delhi. The situation is frightening for us. This blamegame will not help anyone. Action needs to be taken,” she said, referring to quarrels between the Centre and Delhi’s AAP government over the issue.advertisement”What steps were taken by the Delhi government? They should tell us what steps they have taken. Immediate steps should be taken to address the crisis. Governments should take note of the situation and take emergency steps,” Dikshit said.Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan said the Central government was taking necessary steps to control the situation.Also read: Delhi environment minister orders municipal corporations to undertake water sprinklingAlso read: Delhi struggles to breathe as smog smothers NCRWatch: Delhi struggles to breathe before Diwalilast_img read more