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Air pollution news: Delhi’s air remains ‘severe’ for 3rd straight day; AQI at 416


The overall air quality in Delhi continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category for the third straight day on Saturday morning, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.

As per SAFAR data at 8:30 am, the overall air quality in the national capital Delhi (Overall) stood in the ‘severe’ category with Air Quality Index (AQI) of 416.

AQI in Delhi University recorded an AQI of 435, while the airport at Terminal 3 noted an AQI of 456, Noida at 492, IIT Delhi at 432, Gurugram at 435, all in the ‘severe’ range, as per SAFAR data at 8:30 am. Areas like Pusa and Lodhi Road recorded AQI levels of 395 and 385, respectively, both categorized as ‘very poor’ category. As per Central Pollution Control Board data, AQI recorded in Wazirpur was 442, while 415 in Rohini, 448 in Anand Vihar.

The latest ANI drone camera footage from the ITO area showed a layer of haze covering the city.

While speaking to ANI, a Noida resident said, “Pollution level has increased. It feels like getting choked…The air feels heavy.”

Another resident also expressed concern and said, “The pollution situation is horrifying. You can see the AQI, it won’t be less than 400-500. It is causing a lot of issues – sometimes the breathing gets difficult and a burning sensation is felt in the eyes. Respiratory system gets affected too.”

GRAP Stage-III was also implemented in the national capital on Thursday. According to the Respirer Report, Delhi had the highest PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 levels in the country in the month of October and has been experiencing a consistent upward trend since 2021. On Friday, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena chaired a meeting with officials at Raj Niwas to review the situation. In the meeting, it was decided to appeal to the neighbouring States, especially Punjab, which accounted for 1921 (71.57 percent) incidents of stubble burning out of a total of 2,684 such events on November 1 to curtail crop residue burning, by incentivizing farmers, so that the resultant smog in the region could be checked. On Friday, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had sought responses from the Chief Secretaries of the affected states and directed to take immediate remedial action and submit the action taken report before the Tribunal.

NGT in a statement said that immediate action is required for the prevention and control of air pollution in these cities so as to ensure better air quality to the residents.

“In view of the NGT seeks response of Chief Secretaries of the States where the cities AQI has dipped to severe, very poor and poor, are directed to take immediate remedial action and submit action taken report before the Tribunal,” added the statement.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.