Top meet called as Delhi (AQI-382) continues to gasp for breath

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai is set to hold a high-level meeting with senior officers to review the restrictions imposed in the city to contain high pollution levels

Delhi continues to gasp — for breath.

The national capital’s air quality remained in the very poor category on Sunday (November 21), despite forecast of improvement owing to relatively strong winds.

For the record, Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was 382 at 9 am on Sunday.

The 24-hour average AQI was 374 on Saturday. Neighboring Faridabad (347), Ghaziabad (344), Greater Noida (322), Gurgaon (345) and Noida (356) also recorded their air quality in the very poor category.

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Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will hold a high-level meeting on Monday with senior officers to review the restrictions imposed in the city to contain high pollution levels.

The meeting has been called to review the restrictions which come to an end on Sunday. Officials of all departments concerned will be in attendance, an official said.

To combat pollution, the Delhi government had on Wednesday issued 10 directions, including a ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items in the city and closure of schools and colleges till further orders.

The Delhi government had banned construction and demolition activities in the city till November 21. It had also ordered its employees to work from home till Sunday. Rai had also said 1,000 private CNG buses will be hired to strengthen the public transport system.

From November 21 to November 23, surface winds are likely to be strong resulting in effective dispersion that improves air quality, said the Ministry of Earth Sciences air quality monitor SAFAR.

Transport-level winds coming from northwest direction are also likely to be strong during the period and will flush out locally emitted pollutants from Delhi to the southeast region that is expected to improve air quality further, it said.

According to the India Meteorological Department, the city recorded a minimum temperature of 9.8 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal.

The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 27 degrees Celsius. Strong surface winds gusting up to 30 km per hour are likely on Monday, it said.

To combat pollution, the Delhi government had on Wednesday issued 10 directions, including a ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items in the city and closure of schools and colleges till further orders.

The Delhi government had banned construction and demolition activities in the city till November 21. It had also ordered its employees to work from home till Sunday. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said 1,000 private CNG buses will be hired to strengthen the public transport system.

To control air pollution, the Delhi government last week announced a ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the city and closure of schools and colleges till further orders.

Earlier, expressing concern over the deteriorating pollution levels in the national capital, the Supreme Court on November 15 urged the Centre and states to consider implementing work-from-home for their employees living in and around Delhi and ask farmers under their respective jurisdictions not to burn stubble.

The court also rapped the Delhi government for “passing the buck” to municipal corporations over road sweeping machines and warned that its “lame excuses” will compel it to hold an audit inquiry into total revenue earnings and expenditure on advertisements.

(With Agency inputs)

 

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