After brief respite, Delhi again turns breathless

629895-pollution-air-delhi-111717A thick blanket of haze enveloped the National Capital on Sunday and the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded “very poor” levels.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said pollution levels have spiked due to calm conditions, marked by low wind speed and moisture. As per IMD standards, “very poor” levels mean people may suffer from respiratory illness on prolonged exposure. On further dip in air quality, the AQI shows “severe” and “emergency” levels.

Millions began choking on foul air in the first week of November, forcing closure of schools, ban on entry of trucks and construction activities in Delhi.

After a brief respite, the situation is back to square one. The city government issued a health advisory, urging people to avoid smoking and go in for carpooling, among other things, to combat the situation.

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria had compared the November situation in the city to the killer Great Smog of London in 1952. “Around 25,000 to 30,000 people may lose their lives in Delhi-NCR due to diseases exacerbated by pollution,” he had said.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also attributed the rise in air pollution levels to the incursion of moisture in the air. Pollution monitoring and forecasting agency SAFAR predicted that concentration of PM2.5, more harmful owing to its extremely tiny size, and PM10 may rise over the weekend.

Skymet, however, has predicted light rain during that time, which will lead the pollution levels to reduce. “Rain will help in settling down the pollution present in the air. After this, winds are very likely to pick up pace leading to further dispersal of pollution,” Skymet said.

via After brief respite, Delhi again turns breathless | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

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