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New Delhi's air pollution gets worse

Not just a seasonal problem

1 - 1 of 1 posts

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 17 Jun 2018

Delhi’s pollution level decreased on Saturday but continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category, even as authorities expressed hope that the air quality would improve during the day due to dispersion of pollutants.

The pollution level that dipped to “severe plus” state is slowly reducing due to dispersion of pollutants, Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute (SAFAR) said.

According to the data by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 mm) was recorded at 522 in Delhi-NCR and 529 in Delhi on Saturday.

The PM10 level had climbed to 778 in Delhi-NCR area and 824 in Delhi on Wednesday, bringing to light that severe pollution could be a ‘summer-time problem’ too.

The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) that deteriorated from “very poor” to “severe” has now returned to “very poor” category. It was 124 in Delhi-NCR and Delhi on Saturday, the CPCB data said.

Meanwhile, the civil construction activities remain halted in the city till Sunday.

There was a dip in the air quality level on Tuesday due to dust storms in western India, particularly Rajasthan, which increased coarser particles in the air, the CPCB had said.
The unusually high concentration of particulate matter in the last few days in north India clearly shows that air pollution is not a seasonal problem anymore.

As the climate gets warmer and frequency of rains reduces, such spurts in coarse particles making breathing difficult will become a new normal, unless governments wake up to the alarm.
On Thursday, the peak particulate matter pollution around Delhi University and Mathura Road crossed 1,400 micro grams in a cubic metre of air, close to 20 times the Indian safety standard.

Even in places such as Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Panchkula in Haryana, the PM levels were close to 1,000. And this has remained constant for the past 48 hours.

Blaming only weather conditions would be a colossal mistake. It is a man-made catastrophe that impacts health of one and all, as half of the air pollution spurt is caused by local dust in the absence of proper roadside landscaping and emissions from industry and vehicles.

In the coming years, we can prevent such events by ensuring that every city implements the Centre’s dust management plan, there are restrictions on registration of new fuel-guzzling vehicles, and green dust barriers are developed around cities.