Pollution chokes Delhi as schools closed, offices on work-from-home mode

New Delhi:

After an emergency meeting to discuss measures to control Delhi’s worsening air quality, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced closure of schools for a week starting Monday, and a halt to all construction activities from November 14 to 17. Government employees will work from home, while private offices will be advised to do the same, Kejriwal said. Delhi’s air quality on Sunday morning improves to move to the ‘very poor’ category from ‘severe’ category. As per SAFAR-India, Air Quality Index (AQI) today morning stood 386. 

Meanwhile, the pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR), especially Noida and Gurugram, also remained worrisome. Noida reported AQI in the ‘hazardous’ category at 536, while the air quality in Gurugram was at the upper end of ‘severe’ category at 423. As per SAFAR’s bulletin, the AQI is likely to improve in two day “as winds at transport level (925 mb) are slowing down resulting in lesser intrusion of farm fires related pollutants into Delhi.”

“However, as local winds are becoming calm and minimum temperature is decreasing further, preventing efficient dispersion of pollutants leading to improvement of air quality to the upper end of very poor category or lower end of the severe category,” it added.

The effective fire count was reduced to 3,157 yesterday, SAFAR informed. According to the government agencies, AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 are marked as severe/hazardous.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted: “mainly clear sky and moderate fog in the morning” for Sunday and Monday.

“The contribution of biomass burning in PM2.5 concentration is likely to be approximately 10 per cent on November 13-14 as winds are favourable for transportation of pollutants,” it added. The mercury in the capital city has dropped to 11.6 degrees Celcius on Sunday, IMD said.


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