Pollution: Delhi’s air quality may deteriorate severely from next week

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Delhi's air quality deteriorated on Monday to "Severe" for the second time within a week due to a change in wind direction and rampant stubble burning in neighbouring states, authorities said.

A day after recording the worst air quality of the season, Delhi continued to stay engulfed under a thick blanket of haze on November 6.

44 teams will be deployed for Delhi while NCR region will have eight teams.

Air quality in the Delhi further worsened on Monday as the pollution level hovering in "unhealthy category".

Citizens Tuesday protested against the rising air pollution and submitted a letter to senior official of the Union Environment Ministry and the Delhi government, demanding their "Right to Breath" and faster implementation of a time-bound National Clean Air Program.

According to SAFAR - India (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), AQI in Delhi is expected to stabilise by evening and soon it will come in poor category. However, with sharp rise in major pollutants and Delhi's PM2.5 at 247 and PM10 at 448 microgrammes per cubic meters, the quality turned severe as it crossed the 400 mark.

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"Continuous sources of pollution - industry, power plants, the way transport is, the way our waste management is" are the "four or five consistent sources of pollution are [there] all around the year", he says.

Dust particles, smoke particles as well as smoke from stubble burning in neighboring states have been increasing pollution.

However, it might improve if no additional emission from firecrackers add to Delhi's air, it added.

On Monday, the index had turned "severe" in Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, and "very poor" in nearby Gurugram and Hapur. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) issued the directions, which also included intensifying patrolling in "hot spots" with "no tolerance for visibly polluting vehicles", to government agencies following the orders from the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).

"We are gearing up for increased patient flow during Diwali", said Dr. Anil Bansal from the Delhi Medical Association.

The Delhi government launched an aggressive 10-day "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1 to monitor and report polluting activities and ordered halting of construction activities and regulating vehicular traffic. "To get there, we need to set an aspirational goal to reduce the number of deaths from air pollution by two-thirds by 2030". She added that now the ventilation index, which depends on wind speed and mixing height, is higher due to which air quality has improved. Since private vehicles contribute to 40 per cent of pollution in Delhi, the EPCA has urged people to use public transport till November 10. The air quality is particularly poor in the early morning.

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