Air quality became ‘Severe’ again in Delhi on Friday and Environment Minister Gopal Rai directed authorities to strictly implement regulations on polluting vehicles and check biomass burning incidents.
The minister chaired a meeting with officials from related departments on Friday and reviewed the air pollution situation in Delhi. Rai said the transport department and the Delhi Traffic Police have been asked to strictly monitor the implementation of curbs on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel vehicles under stage III of the Centre's air pollution control plan called the Graded Response Action Plan. “The Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the revenue department have been instructed to check the incidents of biomass burning”, he said.
"Some increase in the pollution of Delhi has been noted. We had a meeting regarding it. The incidents of stubble burning are very few now, and the level of pollution is still increasing. Scientists reported 2-3 factors for this. The first is that vehicle pollution's contribution is 36 pc. The second factor is biomass burning,” Rai told ANI.
The minister added, “To control vehicle pollution, we issued the rules of GRAP 3. To control biomass burning, we have directed the related organisations to monitor this especially. Biomass burning will increase as the winter increases. Third, we also discussed the future situation. For the next two days, it is expected that the situation will remain the same. It is possible that after November 27, there will be light rain and the speed of the wind will increase."
Air quality in Delhi turned severe again on Friday, with a dip in temperatures and slow wind speed at night allowing the accumulation of pollutants.
The city's Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 401 at 8am. Delhi has been witnessing a gradual increase in AQI levels after a marginal improvement on Sunday. The 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4pm every day, was 390 on Thursday, 394 on Wednesday, 365 on Tuesday, 348 on Monday and 301 on Sunday.
-with PTI inputs.