New Delhi: The pollution in the national capital and its nearby areas such as Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad remained in the `very poor` category on Tuesday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) docking at 392, said Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
A blanket of smog engulfed Delhi causing suffocation to the people especially near the major junctions such as Rajpath, Raisina Hill, India Gate, ITO and Tilak Marg. "I am feeling very suffocated today. No fresh air, no oxygen after Diwali. Not only that, but I am also having eye irritation," said Umender Kumar, a local while speaking to ANI.
"Throughout the year, the problem of air pollution persists in Delhi but the problem aggravates during Deepawali due to the increase in wind speed and stubble burning. We must take some stringent action to curb the air pollution," said Ashish, another local.
On Monday, the overall air quality of Delhi touched the `severe` category. According to SAFAR, Haryana and Punjab stubble fire counts are increasing, and the transport level wind direction is favourable for plume transport (north-westerly). The air quality is likely to improve slightly tomorrow due to an increase in wind speed.
"Biomass related contribution may touch this year`s peak value (~25 per cent) on October 29. The AQI is forecasted to improve to higher-end Very poor category by tomorrow and a slight increase in wind speed is expected by October 30 will help improve AQI marginally to middle end of the Very poor category," the organisation stated in its report. Also, according to Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), straw burning has increased this year.
"If we see the records from September 23 to October 21, the fire incidents have increased from 2018. So far, 3466 incidents have taken place. In 2018, till October 21, it was 2575," Anil Sood, Head ACM division, PRSC had said while speaking to ANI in Ludhiana. Tarantara was placed at the top of the list of fire incidents with 736 cases. Amritsar was second in the list with 597 cases followed by Patiala with 439 fire incidents. In Ferozabadpur, around 311 fire incidents were reported while in Gurudaspur around 239 such incidents were recorded. To curb air pollution, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi has announced the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme from November 4 to 15, 2019.