Overcast skies in Delhi; Govt reviewing ‘severe’ pollution condition in Capital

Imran Hussain, Delhi Environment minister, has reviewed the action taken to implement the Supreme Court mandated GRAP to keep a check on the air pollution

NH photo
NH photo

NH Web Desk

Imran Hussain, Delhi Environment minister, has reviewed the action taken to implement the Supreme Court mandated Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to keep a check on the air pollution in the city, especially taking into consideration the situation after Diwali and incidents of stubble burning in the neighbouring states.

Hussain conducted a high level meeting on Monday, November 12, regarding the actions taken by various stakeholders and he appreciated the efforts being made by all the agencies to control pollution. He expressed concern over the high levels of pollution in the national capital days after the festival.

As per GRAP, the air quality is ‘moderate’ when ambient particulate matter or PM2.5 or PM10 concentration value is between 61-120 µg/m3 or 101-350µg/m3 respectively. The air quality is termed as ‘very poor’ when ambient PM2.5 or PM10 concentration value is more than 121-250µg/m3 or 351-430µg/m3 respectively.

It is ‘very poor’ when ambient PM2.5 or PM10 concentration value is more than 250µg/m3 or 430µg/m3 respectively. The air quality is ‘severe plus’ or ‘emergency’ when ambient PM2.5 or PM10 concentration values of 300 µg/m3 or 500µg/m3 respectively persist for 48 hours or more.

Delhiites woke up to overcast skies on Wednesday, November 14, following overnight rains in several parts of the city.

The minimum temperature settled at 17.6 degrees Celsius, four notches above the season's average while the humidity was recorded at 90% at 8.30 am, said a Met department official.

The Safdarjung observatory, the recording of which is considered the official figure for the city, received 7 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 AM, the official said.

Areas under Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge and Ayanagar received 3.1mm, 4.9 mm, 3.4 mm and 4.7 mm rains during the same period.

The Met office has forecast cloudy skies for the rest of day.

"The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 28 degrees," the weatherman said.

The maximum and minimum temperatures recorded on Tuesday were 29.4 and 14.2 degrees Celsius respectively.

On Tuesday, parts of Delhi saw traces of rain, but these were not enough to settle the pollutants, experts said.

According to weather analysts, weather conditions are likely to remain the same till Friday.

"The conditions will remain the same till November 16 after which Delhi would receive dry and cold north-westerly winds which would disperse the pollutants," said Mahesh Palawat, director private weather agency Group Skymet in a report of the Hindustan Times.

Hussain stated that local air polluting factors such as burning, dust and others, must be controlled. He asked the municipal corporations to intensify its mechanical sweeping of the roads to prevent the suspension of dust particles caused by the movement of vehicles.

He also directed the municipal corporation to enforce the prohibition of uncovered building material on the roads and other public spaces.

Hussain also directed no construction is taken up during the period when it is banned and that violators are strictly punished. He said that no construction material should be kept in the open and regular sprinkling of water at all such sites must be done.

The industries department and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC) was ordered to enforce the action plan for proper waste disposal of wastes generated by the industrial units, especially in the Narela and Bawana areas.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said in a Hindustan Times report that action will be taken by agencies to keep a close tab on the increase in the pollution level. The DPCC also said the frequency of mechanised road sweeping and water sprinkles have been increased.

The meeting was attended by officials of Delhi government, senior officers of North, South and East MCDs, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), environment department, transport department, industries department, DPCC, DSIIDC), Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS) and other stakeholders.

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