Air Quality Plunges To “Very Poor” In Delhi, Residents Feel “Suffocated”

New Delhi: 

As winters approach Delhi, the weather is getting cooler and dust and smog is blanketing the capital and the nearby regions. The Air Quality Index is in “very poor” category in Delhi today, said Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), which has advised people of the sensitive category to avoid morning walks and any other outdoor activities.

“The pollution has increased in the past three days. I am feeling very suffocated. There is so much haze everywhere. I will soon start wearing an anti-pollution mask during morning walks. The government must do something to bring down the air pollution in the capital,” Ravinder Kumar, a resident, told news agency ANI.

Another local Ram Kumar Sharma said that he feels suffocated due to dust pollutants in the air.

“In the morning, the air is not clean. In winter, the situation will become worse. There is a need to take urgent measures,” Mr Kumar said.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was at 391 (Very poor) at Inner Circle, Connaught Place today morning, reports SAFAR. Major pollutant Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) is at 270.86.

VK Shukla, head of the air quality lab of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), said the air quality has turned very poor as dispersion of local pollutants is not happening due to adverse meteorological conditions.

The stubble burning activity in Haryana, Punjab and nearby regions has shown an increasing trend over the last 48 hours. A few new fires have been observed over western Uttar Pradesh.

SAFAR said that wind directions are not favourable for the direct plume transport to Delhi and its model estimates the biomass contribution as just 5 per cent, news agency IANS reported.

The increase in pollution levels has led to respiratory problems, cough and eye irritation among adults.

With pollution levels rising and air quality deteriorating, SAFAR has advised the following:

  1. Stop outdoor activity at early morning and after sunset times.
  2. Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
  3. Go for a short walk instead of a jog and take more breaks.
  4. Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue.
  5. If the room has windows, close them.
  6. If the air conditioner provides a fresh air intake option, keep that closed.
  7. Avoid burning of wood, candles or incense.
  8. Keep the room clean – dont vacuum. Do wet mopping to reduce dust.
  9. Masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators may only help if you go out.

The AQI between 0 to 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 falls under the category of “satisfactory”, 101-200 is marked as “moderate”, 201 to 300 ”poor”, 301 to 400 “very poor” and 500 and beyond is considered “severe”.

Delhi woke up to humid morning with overcast skies with minimum and the maximum temperature between 20 degrees Celsius and 33 degrees Celsius.

(With inputs from ANI, IANS)

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