Delhi: Sudden showers bring some solace but AQI still in 'severe' category

The state govt will approach SC today with the proposal for artificial rain

Delhi Smog covering the skyline in Delhi | Manorama

The light rain that lashed Delhi on Thursday night and Friday morning brought some respite from the toxic haze enveloping the national capital for the last week.

Light to moderate-intensity showers that hit Kartavya Path and the Delhi-Noida border brought cheer to the residents, who expressed relief. "Weather is better today after the rain. Earlier, there was smog everywhere, but today it is good. Still, elderly people must take care of themselves and come out of the house only with masks," a resident told ANI.

The showers happened as the Delhi government decided to go in for artificial rain to combat hazardous air pollution in the city. The chief secretary was asked to present the proposal before the Supreme Court on Friday.  If the Centre supports the decision, the Delhi government will arrange for the first phase of artificial rain in the city by November 20. 

However, the overall air quality of the city remains in the 'severe' category. According to the data issued by the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India), AQI in Ashok Vihar was recorded at 462 (severe), while in the RK Puram area, the AQI stood at 461 (severe category). The air quality in Punjab Bagh was recorded at 460 (severe), while ITO stands at 464 (severe category)

The state government has also fielded ministers to ensure the implementation of anti-pollution measures. Environment Minister Gopal Rai was among the AAP ministers who were seen inspecting different areas and state borders. "After seeing the level of pollution in the national capital, the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items has been banned. Only electric and CNG trucks are permitted. Teams have been deployed on all borders. I will write to the Haryana and Punjab governments in this regard," Rai added. 

Minister Atishi was also seen inspecting at the Ghazipur border. She added that despite the ban, several trucks were seen entering the state illegally and there was a need to strengthen inspection at the state borders. Other ministers, Saurabh Bharadwaj and Kailash Gahlot, also hit the streets and reported non-implementation of GRAP-4 measures in the Gurugram border. 

GRAP -- a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the Delhi-NCR region in the winter season -- classifies actions under four different categories Stage I 'Poor' (AQI 201-300), Stage II 'Very Poor' (AQI 301-400), Stage III 'Severe' (AQI 401-450), and Stage IV 'Severe Plus' (AQI > 450). 


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