New Delhi: The national capital’s air quality remained poor for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, with increase in wind speed raising hopes about improvement in the situation in the next few days. The overall air quality index (AQI) recorded at 4 pm on Thursday stood at 210, which falls under ‘poor’ category, authorities said. On Wednesday, Delhi’s AQI stood at 239, according to a data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’. On Thursday, Ghaziabad and Noida also recorded ‘moderate’ air quality levels at 200 and 198 respectively, the data showed. A senior CPCB official said there would be improvement in the air quality in the next few days as the wind speed improved.
The wind speed increased due to development of a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal, he said.
A slew of measures are being taken by the CPCB to fight pollution during the upcoming winter season, when the air quality in Delhi is generally the worst. The measures include deployment of 41 inspection team to monitor any violations that might lead to increase of pollution.
However, recent satellite images from the NASA have showed that the farmers in Punjab and Haryana have started burning crop residue earlier this month. The NASA, on its official website, stated that burning crop residue in Punjab and Haryana has increased significantly over the past 10 days in and near Amritsar, Ambala, Karnal, Sirsa and Hisar.
Burning of paddy straw every year during October and November and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana are the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, as the smoke travels towards the national capital. In Delhi, it mixes with the fog and creates a toxic smoggy winter every year.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.