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Pollution control board to implement emergency plan as air quality worsens in Delhi

According to the AQI data, the air quality has been worsening in the national capital.

Pollution control board to implement emergency plan as air quality worsens in Delhi

NEW DELHI: With the air quality worsening in the national capital, the Central; Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will implement an emergency action plan from Monday to combat air pollution during the upcoming winter season.

Under the emergency plan called 'Graded Response Action Plan' (GRAP), several stringent measures will be taken to combat the rising air pollution in the national capital region. 

If the air quality lies in moderate to poor category - measures like stopping garbage burning in landfills and other places and enforcing all pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries would be implemented.

If the air quality falls in the very poor category, additional measures of stopping use of diesel generator sets, enhancing parking fees 3-4 times and increasing frequency of metro and buses would be implemented, according to an official.

According to the latest AQI data, major pollutants PM 2.5 is at 168 (moderate) and PM 10 at 224 (poor) in Delhi's Lodhi Road area on Monday.

The air quality in Delhi had remained poor on Sunday with a drop in wind speed. 

The overall air quality index (AQI) recorded at 10 AM Sunday was 201 which falls in the poor category, according to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). 

On Saturday, the AQI of the national capital stood at 300.

According to the CPCB website, Anand Vihar recorded an AQI of 249, DTU registered 209, ITO recorded 199 and Jahangirpuri recorded an AQI of 302, which falls in the poor category.

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

Delhi's neighbouring regions of Faridabad and Gurgaon both recorded poor air quality.

The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 180 and the PM2.5 level was recorded at 91, according to the data.

Authorities have predicted further deterioration of air quality in the coming days. 

A slew of measures is being taken by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to fight pollution during the upcoming winter season during which the air quality in Delhi is generally the worst.

Meanwhile, recent satellite images from NASA show that farmers in Punjab and Haryana started burning crop residue earlier this month.

NASA, on its official website, stated that burning crop residue in Punjab and Haryana has increased significantly over the past 10 days in and near Amritsar, Ambala, Karnal, Sirsa and Hisar.

Burning of paddy straw every year during October and November, and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana are the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, as the smoke travels towards the national capital. 

In Delhi, it mixes with fog and creates a toxic smoggy winter every year. 

(With Agency inputs)