Public health emergency declared as AQI in Delhi hits 'severe plus' category
New Delhi : A public health emergency has been declared in Delhi and nearby areas by the pollution control body appointed by the Supreme Court, as the air quality dropped to 'emergency' or 'severe-plus' category for the first time since January, on Friday.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has also banned all kind of constructions till November 5 in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, and Greater Noida, along with a ban on the bursting of firecrackers during the winter season.
“We have to take this as a public health emergency as air pollution will have an adverse health impact on all, particularly our children,” PTI quoted EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal as saying in his letter to the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
According to official data, the Air Quality Index on Friday showed 582 at 12.30 am for Delhi-NCR. It had shot up to 504 at 3.30 am. 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’. Above 500 falls in the ‘severe-plus emergency’ category.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has blamed stubble burning in the nearby areas as the prime reason behind the national capital turning into a gas chamber.
Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighbouring states— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 1, 2019
It is very imp that we protect ourselves from this toxic air. Through pvt & govt schools, we have started distributing 50 lakh masks today
I urge all Delhiites to use them whenever needed pic.twitter.com/MYwRz9euaq
On Thursday, he requested the governments of neighbouring states to stop stubble burning. He also urged students to help in stopping garbage burning in the national capital.”We have to stop garbage burning in Delhi. If you see anyone doing so, request them to not do it. If they do not listen, there is a WhatsApp number to report it,” he said.