The air quality in New Delhi continued to remain severe even as the toxic haze cleared up after a light rainfall today morning. The weather agency expects the pollution to ease up ahead of Diwali on Sunday. The rains come amid the Delhi government’s ongoing discussions with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to conduct artificial rains across the national capital to combat the deteriorating air quality.
New Delhi is reeling after a week of severe pollution that has seen concentrations of harmful particles as high as 100 times the levels recommended by the World Health Organization
The overall air quality in Delhi at 7 am today was 407, according to data by the government’s air-quality monitoring agency SAFAR.
Some of the worst-affected areas were Ashok Vihar (443), Anand Vihar (436), Bawana (433), Rohini (429) and Punjabi Bagh (422). The situation isn’t any better in Noida, Gurugram and other neighbouring cities. Noida’s average AQI this morning was 475, Faridabad 459, Gurugram 386, and Ghaziabad (325).
The data showed major drop in the level of pollutants PM 2.5 and PM10 after 4am across the national capital and surrounding areas.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government is making efforts to execute anti-pollution measures, and it is also considering the idea of ‘artificial rain’ to curtail the pollution issue. Several ministers of the Aam Admi Party were also seen on the ground on Thursday night inspecting the execution of anti-pollution initiatives.
The Supreme Court will today review measures already put in place to improve air quality, consider further tightening the rules on road traffic, and discuss the role played by dust raised from construction, one of the main contributors to the city’s pollution problems.
Delhi needs heavy and widespread rain to wash away the pollutants, and light rains could worsen the situation, said Gufran Beig, the founder director of the federal government’s air-quality monitoring agency SAFAR.
Mr Beig added that current airflow is carrying smoke from crop residue burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana to Delhi, which also has its own pollution sources and where there is currently almost no wind.