Delhi’s pollution levels remained in the “poor” zone for the second day in a row on Saturday, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 216, a marginal deterioration from Friday’s reading of 212, according to the national bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board.
The ICA fell into the “poor” zone on Friday, for the first time in 114 days, triggering the start of Stage 1 restrictions under the Graduated Response Action Plan (Grap) related to construction activities, generator sets diesel and Pollution Under Control controls. (PUC) by vehicles. Annual factors such as falling temperatures, falling wind speeds and increasing agricultural fires in neighboring states worsen air quality in the city.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Saturday launched a month-long anti-dust campaign, which will last till November 7.
Rai on Saturday visited Wazirpur area, one of the 13 pollution hotspots, and conducted a surprise inspection of the measures being taken to improve air quality. Officials said the main factors contributing to pollution in the area were illegal parking, traffic congestion and ongoing construction work near the highway.
“I asked the officials to ensure that water is sprayed on the road in the morning and evening. It is necessary to follow the 14 rules related to construction dust control at all construction sites. Teams will take strict action if the rules are not followed. For this, instructions have been given to the departments to constantly monitor the construction works,” Rai said.
Meanwhile, the AQI remained “poor” in NCR cities including Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida, where Greater Noida recorded the highest AQI figure of 290. The AQI remained in the “moderate” category at 172 in Gurugram and 198 in Faridabad. . Average air quality is also expected to remain “poor” over the next few days.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the state environment department have jointly identified 103 critical sources of local pollution in 13 hotspots in the city, the solution to which, officials said, will be a priority this winter. .
Rai said they have drawn up separate action plans for 13 hotspots, which are being continuously monitored from the Green War Room.
Under the anti-dust drive, 591 teams from 13 departments have been deployed across Delhi, said officials, including Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Municipal Corporation, DPCC, Delhi Jal Board, Industrial Development Corporation and Infrastructure of the State of Delhi, the Department of Public Works. revenue department, CPWD and Municipal Corporation of New Delhi. To control pollution, 82 mechanical road sweepers, 530 water sprinklers and 258 mobile anti-smog guns have been deployed across Delhi.
With Grap up and running, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has advised the public to follow the citizens’ charter, a set of guidelines to help reduce air pollution. This includes keeping engines properly tuned, having your PUC up to date, and ensuring vehicles do not idle at red lights. Citizens are also encouraged to plant more trees, not throw waste in the open and not drive vehicles at the end of their useful life, he said.