‘Post-Diwali, fireworks could propel air quality levels back to severe’

Delhi-NCR To Observe'Clean Air Week From November 1-5

Delhi-NCR To Observe'Clean Air Week From November 1-5

The SAFAR said Delhi's air quality is expected to deteriorate to "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali and the air quality "will be bad on November 8 even if partial toxic crackers are burned compared to last year". The state's Pollution Control Body has been directed to initiate criminal prosecution against violators while the Delhi government said, "It is fully prepared to implement odd-even scheme when needed".

According to a warning issued by Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the national capital's air quality is expected to deteriorate to "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali and it will be "bad" on November 8 even if "partial toxic crackers" are burned compared to past year.

Enforcement data, provided in response to an RTI query by activist Deepak Juneja, showed that despite the Delhi government deregistering 40 lakh old petrol and diesel vehicles to curb air pollution, only 3,196 vehicles have been impounded, which is less than 1 percent of the total. School have distributing masks to the students.

Clean Air Week, scheduled just ahead of Diwali, will bring together 52 teams along with the local police to take action against polluters in New Delhi and its neighbouring cities including Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad from this Thursday. People are complaining of burning eyes and breathlessness.

On Wednesday which is a Diwali morning, Delhi's air quality improved to "unhealthy" at a number of places as winds continued to blow across the region.

According to the reports, one of Mumbai's fast bowler is complaining of a headache and fever.

Teams have also been formed to ensure safety on the roads of Delhi-NCR.

Air pollution continues to worsen in New Delhi, especially in winter months. "At night, it gets worse".

"These are non-smokers, but even they have black lungs", he told AFP. An official with the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said the improvement in air quality can be attributed to increased speed of early morning winds.

Children, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments like asthma suffer the most from Delhi's hazardous smog, which does not lift until around late February.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of Union Environment Secretary, CK Mishra, proposed certain urgent steps that can be taken to address the issue.

The DPCC order includes halt of all construction activities involving excavation, civil construction to remain closed in Delhi and other NCR districts from November 1-10, besides closure of all stone crushers, hot mix plants generating dust pollution in Delhi and NCR districts.

Besides this, EPCA has also warned it will ban all private transport for some time so that the pollution level could be decreased.

The apex court has now asked the CBCB to publicize the opening of social media sites.

"The moisture intrusion over Delhi and surrounding regions due to the westerlies disturbances will increase with effect from November 4 to enhanced holding capacity of atmosphere resulting in increase in PM2.5 levels", the SAFAR website said.

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