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Delhi’s air quality remained “severe” for the fifth consecutive day

Delhi’s air quality remained “severe” for the fifth consecutive day

Delhi’s air quality has continued to deteriorate with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at the ‘severe’ level for the fifth consecutive day, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Data from the System for Air Quality Forecasting and Research in India (SAFAR-India) showed that the AQI in the national capital had risen to 488 from 410 a day earlier.

In response to the deteriorating air quality, Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai called a meeting of all concerned departments to discuss the implementation of the fourth phase (GRAP-4) of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The decision was taken on the directive of the Council for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to implement Phase IV across the National Capital Region (NCR) to prevent further deterioration of air quality.

Delhi’s air quality remained “severe” for the fifth consecutive day

Under GRAP-4, a number of restrictions will be imposed, including ban on entry of non-essential trucks into Delhi, ban on movement of Delhi registered diesel medium goods vehicles (MGVs) and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and possible stoppage of Physical Education (PE) classes for students of up to class IX.

Doctors have warned that prolonged exposure to such high levels of air pollution could have serious health consequences, especially for those suffering from lung-related diseases. They advised that the AQI should be less than 50 for healthy persons.

Straw burning in neighboring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab is the main cause of air pollution in Delhi. A similar situation has been witnessed in Bhatinda in Punjab, where the AQI has reached 215, which is in the “very poor” category.

Local residents have appealed to the government to take immediate action to stop farmers from burning straw as it adversely affects air quality and public health. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also emphasized the need for speedy measures to control air pollution in these cities to safeguard the welfare of the residents.

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