Delhiites gasp for breath as air quality remains unhealthy

New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Nov 27, 2018, 11:28 AM(IST)

File photo: Delhi smog. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded 349 on Tuesday, falling under the 'very poor' quality category.

People residing in Delhi and National Capital Region are reeling under the impact of breathing polluted air from the past couple of months due to vehicular pollution, crop residue burning and climate change.

As per the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded 349 on Tuesday, falling under the 'very poor' quality category.

The fog will lift in the morning with maximum and minimum temperatures hovering around 31 degrees Celsius and 13-degree Celsius, respectively.

Humidity in the region has plummeted to 60 per cent with a wind speed of 8 kilometres per hour. AQI between the range of 0-50 is considered good while the range beyond 500 is contemplated as hazardous.

The air quality index between the range 51 to 100 is marked as satisfactory while 101-200 range is touted as moderate.

The range of 201-300 comes under the category of poor whereas 401-500 range is considered as severe. At Dhirpur, the AQI was 387 at 8:45 am, while in Mathura Road area, it dipped to 'very poor' at 361.

Furthermore, AQI near Pitampura, Airport Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 356, 335 and 326, respectively. Experts have predicted that the air pollution will continue to engulf the capital and its nearby region from the next couple of days.

"The air quality is very poor and will remain very poor with a gradually increasing trend for the next two days without any major episode and then likely to decline. The AQI will remain in the very poor category only. The increase is attributed to declining in wind speed as compared to past two days. Tomorrow, the sky is likely to be hazy /cloudy (not good for aq). All other meteorological factors are unfavourable and likely to remain so at least for the next two days. The contribution from stubble biomass has almost seized, " the forecasting agency stated.

In order to prevent the smog-haze issue, the pollution-hit cities can follow in Singapore's footsteps which also faced a similar issue in 2015.

In order to provide relief to its citizens, the Singapore government introduced the Haze Subsidy scheme, which provided affordable treatment for haze-related conditions to elderly, children and poor.

The climate change has also adversely affected the snow-laden peaks and landscapes of Himachal Pradesh.

The untimely snowfall in Lahul Spiti which is at least 3000 metres above the sea level, has resulted in the loss of crops such as cabbage, apple, potatoes etc. This area usually receives heavy snowfall between the month of December and April.

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