Delhi NCR woke up to a smoggy morning on Wednesday, as air quality remained in the ‘severe’ category in several parts of the city. The state government on Tuesday had ordered all primary schools to remain closed and barred outdoor activities for children in the wake of the pollution. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who described Delhi as a “gas chamber”, reviewed the situation in a meeting with health and environment officials.
The Delhi government is “prepared” to re-launch its odd-even transport scheme and restrict trucks from entering the city in the case of an “emergency,” deputy CM Manish Sisodia. The government also issued a health advisory for residents of the capital, especially children, the elderly and those suffering from asthma and heart ailments. “We appeal to the people of Delhi to avoid morning and evening walks,” Sisodia had said yesterday.
According to CPCB, Air Quality Index (AQI) level 100 is satisfactory. Delhi’s AQI usually ranges between 300 to 400. However, yesterday most places in Delhi had crossed the level of 440, making it the most polluted day of this winter. Last year after Diwali, the levels had reached AQI of 500 (highest), leading to an alarming situation in the city.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter said that he is going to write letters to the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana and request a meeting to find solution to crop burning.
All schools in Ghaziabad have also been ordered to stay closed by the district magistrate because of the worsening pollution levels in the NCR region. District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari also announced that all construction activities in the region would reamin suspended for atleast a week.
As per Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, the air quality is going to remain the same in Delhi for atleast the next two days.
Many students in the city are complaining about itching in throat and eyes because of the pollution levels in the city. “This is very problematic, I cannot even take a few steps without this (inhaler), apart from breathing issues there is itching in eyes also,” a resident was quoted by ANI
Air quality levels in areas like Lodhi Road continue to be in the ‘severe’ category, with high levels of pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 in the air.