Toxic air leaves Delhiites gasping for breath

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 20, 2019 10:17 hrs
Delhi air

New Delhi: Air quality in the national capital nosedived to 'very poor' on Sunday morning and is likely get worse in the next couple of days.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) data, the air quality of Delhi showed levels of prominent pollutants PM (particulate matter) 10 at 369, which is considered as 'very poor'.

An AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 falls under the poor category, whereas 401-500 range is severe.

The organisation has advised the people residing in Delhi to avoid all physical activities outdoors and warned asthmatics to keep relief medicines handy. "Stop any activity level if you experience any usual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue," it added.

In November last year, SAFAR had conducted a study which revealed that 41 per cent of the pollution in Delhi was caused by the transport sector. It had also stated that "after transport, wind-blown dust is the second major contributor with 21.5 per cent followed by Industries at 18.6 per cent.

"The other minor contributors are Power and Residential sectors contributing about 4.9 and 3 per cent respectively. Others contribute about 11 per cent. Residential Sector includes slum, crop Residue, cow dung, a street vendor, household, DG Set, wood burning, etc while other Sector includes MSW Plants, MSW Open Burning, Crematory, Aviation, Incense Stick, Brick Kiln," the state-run body had revealed.

Air quality in Mumbai has gotten worse with the climatic change after hazy conditions covered the regions' skyline yesterday. The AQI is hovering at 259 and is likely to get higher in the next few days.

During winter season each year, most of northern India suffers from a spike in toxicity in the air due to the change in weather patterns and crop residue burning in states such as Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Not only that, a dip in temperature along with low wind speed also tends to trap air pollutants closer to the ground.