In a continuing environmental crisis, Delhi’s air quality remained firmly in the ‘Severe’ category for the fourth consecutive day, though there was a slight reduction in the overall Air Quality Index (AQI), now measuring at 410, compared to the alarming 504 recorded on Saturday. These readings have been provided by the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India).
The SAFAR-India data revealed that air quality in the Lodhi Road area stood at 385 (classified as ‘Very Poor’), whereas in the vicinity of Delhi University, the AQI escalated to 456, signifying a ‘Severe’ level of air pollution. Disturbing drone camera footage from the Qutub Minar area underscored the dense and pervasive haze lingering in the atmosphere.
The air quality crisis has not spared neighboring areas either. Noida experienced a similar distressing situation, with its air quality descending to the ‘severe’ category, indicating an AQI of 466, according to SAFAR-India. Meanwhile, Gurugram’s air quality lingered within the ‘Very Poor’ category, with an AQI of 392.
The recommended AQI for a healthy individual should ideally be below 50. Nevertheless, the current AQI readings surpass 400, presenting substantial health risks, particularly for those with pre-existing lung-related conditions, further elevating the risk of lung cancer.
In response to the deteriorating air quality, Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, took action by writing a letter to Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, urging the imposition of a ban on the entry of vehicles that do not comply with BS-VI emission norms from neighboring states into Delhi-NCR. Furthermore, he requested an emergency meeting with the environment ministers of the adjacent states to address this pressing issue. Rai stressed the seriousness of the situation, noting that despite the recent construction ban in Delhi, the level of pollution remains concerning.
As concerns over air quality persist, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued directives to the Chief Secretaries of the affected states to take immediate remedial actions to address the air pollution crisis. The NGT has urged swift measures to ensure improved air quality for residents. The situation continues to be closely monitored as Delhi grapples with worsening air quality, underscoring the need for concerted efforts to alleviate the ongoing environmental crisis.