NEW DELHI: Delhi's pollution level sharply spiked Monday as a thick haze engulfed the national capital ahead of Diwali due to the high impact of stubble burning and pushed the air quality in the 'very poor' category.
"As expected there is a significant interruption of bio-mass generated pollution in Delhi which is increasing pollution levels and made it ‘very poor’ in spite of moderate surface wind speed," an official of System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.
According to the report from the SAFAR, the contribution of stubble burning to pollution in the national capital is expected to be 24 per cent on Monday, a thick haze also engulfed the city and reduced the visibility.
The spike in the pollution level comes a day after the air quality had improved to moderate category due to meteorological factors and the control measures implemented by the authorities in Delhi.
On Monday, the overall AQI of Delhi was registered at 345, which fall in the ‘very poor’ category, and on Sunday, it was registered at 171, which falls in the moderate category.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered as “good”, 51-100 as “satisfactory”, 101-200 as “moderate”, 201-300 as “poor”, 301- 400 as “very poor”, and 401-500 as “severe”.
Delhi authorities have stepped up efforts to combat pollution, which includes measures like halting construction activities and regulating traffic.
The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and the CPCB has deployed 41 teams across the Delhi NCR to monitor proper implementation of norms enforced to prevent pollution at the source.
According to the report, if the air quality is in the very poor tier, stopping the use of diesel generator sets, increasing parking fees three to four times and increasing the frequency of Metro and bus services put into action.
If the air quality is in the moderate to poor tier- stopping garbage burning in landfills and other places, enforcing all pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries would be implemented.
If the air quality falls in the emergency category, then measures like stopping entry of trucks into Delhi (except essential commodities), stopping construction activities, shutting of school and appointment of the task force to take the decision on any additional steps would be put into action.
If the air quality comes in the severe category, additional measures would be implemented of increasing frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads, the sprinkling of water on roads and identifying road stretches with high dust generation.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has directed the Transport Department and the Traffic Police to intensify checking of polluting vehicles and control travel congestion in the region during November 1-10.
A 10-day-long 'Clean Air Campaign' from November 1-10 has also been launched to monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has created social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook, where the citizens can lodge their complaints about pollution in their areas, it has received 18 complaints so far.
The weather office has warned that the air quality will further get worse in the next few days during Diwali period when a further spike in pollution is expected to hit the city.
with inputs from PTI