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Air pollution up in Delhi-NCR
November 07, 2017
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NEW DELHI: The air quality in Delhi and NCR got more toxic on Monday, with winds coming from Punjab and Haryana where stubble burning continues unabated.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Technical University (DTU) in north Delhi, ITO in central Delhi, Anand Vihar in west Delhi and areas in Ghaziabad and Noida recorded a “severe” rating on the Air Quality Index (AQI) at 5pm on Monday.

According to the satellite images from Nasa’s fire mapper, stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana has increased.

The average PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm — the major pollutant — was 353 units, about 14 times the safe limit by 8pm in Delhi, with average AQI value of 356, considered “very poor”.

The safe range for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter as per Indian standards and 25 units as per international norms.

In Delhi, the DTU recorded 426 on the AQI at 6pm, with PM2.5 ranging 335-500 units between 6am and 6pm.

Pusa in central Delhi was the area with cleanest air in the national capital with an AQI value of 263, considered “poor”, and average PM2.5 recorded at 115 units — four times the safe limit.

At ITO, AQI value was 400 at 6pm and PM2.5 ranging 307-500 units from 9am to 6pm; at Anand Vihar it was 476, with PM2.5 ranging 308-500 units; Vasundhara in Ghaziabad had an AQI value of 438, with PM2.5 ranging 316-500 units; and Sector 125 in Noida had an AQI of 435, with PM2.5 ranging 318-500 units.

The CPCB’s data from 13 other monitoring stations across Delhi recorded “very poor” on AQI ranging from 265 (poor) at Aya Nagar to 396 at Punjabi Bagh.

“Currently Delhi is receiving north-westerly winds coming from Punjab and Haryana. This will continue for at least the next two days,” Mahesh Palawat, Director of private weather forecaster Skymet, told IANS.

Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel on Monday threatened to discontinue its decade-long alliance with the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) in the future if the rising concerns of air pollution in the capital are not immediately addressed.

“We have received a lot of feedback from our customers and citizens at large expressing concern on holding the marathon in view of the prevailing air pollution in the city,” Airtel said in a statement.

“Air pollution poses serious health risks and it is important that these concerns are addressed urgently and appropriately by the authorities for Airtel to continue associating with the event next year and beyond,” the statement added.

On their association for the upcoming edition of the annual race, to be run on Nov.19, Airtel said they have discussed the air quality issue with the organisers, Procam, who have assured that it is taking several measures to minimise the impact on the runners.

“The organisers of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Procam have made sure that the event is consistently conducted as per international standards, with all necessary safety guidelines in place,” the statement read.

“For the upcoming edition we have discussed the air quality issue with the organisers, Procam and they have assured us that it is taking several measures to minimise the impact of air pollution on the runners.

“A team of professionals is being deployed by Procam before the race day to sprinkle salt mixed with effluent treated water across the entire track to ensure that the dust pollution is negated. Furthermore, no vehicles will be plying on the route of the marathon,” it added.

Indo-Asian News Service

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