Air quality in Delhi to remain 'very poor' over the weekend

12 December 2015

Delhi residents would better keep away from outdoor activities over the weekend as the city's 'very poor' air quality brought with it possibility of respiratory illness on prolonged exposure, PTI reported.

The average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 stood at 174 and 285 microgram per cubic metre today, a senior IMD official said, adding that such conditions would likely continue over the next two days due to atmospheric conditions.

"The wind is not that strong so suspended particulate matters won't get easily dispersed. Winds from the Himalayas have also brought in moisture and resulted in a drop of day-time temperature," the official said.

Real-time figures of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) were more alarming as PM 2.5 and PM 10, fine pollutants which can penetrate deep into the respiratory system, stood many times higher than the safe limits of 60 and 100.

Anand Vihar recorded PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 316 microgram per cubic metre and 781 at 8.50 PM while the same were 242 and 480 in the RK Puram area at 5 PM.

The average level of pollution has. however, seen a dip over the last two days.

Meawhile, The Times of India reported that when air pollution hit a certain danger mark in Beijing, the government issued a red alert that automatically put curbs on factories, construction work and vehicles. Had Delhi had a similar system, the stipulation on cars with odd- and even-numbered licence plate using the roads on alternate days would have been in force throughout November. Schools and factories too would have remained shut for the entire month.

An analysis by Greenpeace India and East Asia, on 29 out of November's 30 days, showed that the quality of air in Delhi was so poor that emergency measures should have been in place to bring down the severity of the pollution.

According to an analysis by Greenpeace in the 91 days between September and November, Delhi hit the red mark as many as 33 times, while in the same period, Lucknow had 40 poor days.

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