Delhi air pollution: NCR air quality reaches emergency levels

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The citizens of Delhi woke up to a thick blanket of smog in the air as air quality deteriorated close to "emergency" levels on Tuesday. The direction also applies to all cities and towns where the air quality during November fell under the "poor" and above categories.

SAFAR said the share of stubble burning in Delhi's PM2.5 pollution was 38% on Monday.

Air quality monitoring stations at Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, Pusa, Rohini, Patparganj, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Najafgarh, Sri Aurobindo Marg and Okhla Phase 2 maxed out as air quality indexes hit the 500 mark, Central Pollution Control Board data showed.

The AQI levels in Noida was recorded at 898 and in Gurgaon 963 which is considered hazardous.

The air in India's capital region becomes very polluted every winter.

But it said the ban in Delhi must be "absolute" because of rapidly-worsening air quality and rising Covid-19 cases in the city of 20-million residents.

COVID-19 Numbers as of 3 pm November 5
Cuomo also said NY is doing "extraordinary well" compared to the rest of the country and is only trailing Vermont and Maine. A number of states are still reporting record high case numbers, and hospitalizations are up as well.

Delhi doctors have seen a significant increase in the number of patients complaining of respiratory illnesses over the past few days, when pollution has been in the "severe" category.

The levels of PM2.5 - which is about three per cent the diameter of a human hair and can lead to premature deaths from heart and lung diseases - were 644 µg/m3 at 12 noon - around 11 times higher than the safe limit of 60 µg/m3. PM10 levels below 100 µg/m3 are considered safe in India. "If people burst crackers, pollution levels can increase to "severe" to "severe plus" category (emergency)", he said.

The farm fire count over Punjab remains very high which is likely to impact the air quality of Delhi-NCR and other parts of northwest India, it said.

There was moderate fog in the morning which led to smog. If we are all together, we will fight this air pollution. The visibility in the city was reduced to 192 meters at 9 a.m.

This comes as Delhi, suffering a "third wave" of coronavirus infections, is facing one of the worst spells of pollution in years, partly due to crop waste fires in neighbouring states and local emission from vehicle exhausts. According to the ministry, transport level winds have now reversed and may reduce stubble intrusion.

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