Delhi Trapped In Smog, Flights Delayed; Noida Schools Shut Till Tuesday

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Delhi air quality plummeted post-Diwali, which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said was the “lowest in five years”.

NEW DELHI: 

Air pollution levels in the national capital plummeted to hazardous category with pollution level measuring at 625 at 10 in the morning – the first time in this season. This is a significant deterioration from the pollution level on Saturday, when the city recorded 407 on the Air Quality Index.

To make matters worse, a thick blanket of smog engulfed parts of the city leading to low visibility and affecting flight operations at the Delhi airport.

Pollution levels at Dhirpur in west Delhi was at 509, while in Delhi University area it was 591. In Delhi’s famous Chandni Chowk area, the AQI was recorded at 432 while in Lodhi road it was 537.

The pollution levels in neighboring areas of Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad also recorded between severe to hazardous readings with PMs ranging from 400 to 709.

People residing in these areas complained of eye irritation and suffocation due to deteriorating air quality.

“We are athletes and have most of the events in the winter seasons. This thick smog is affecting our health making it difficult to breathe in the poisonous air. The government must do something about it,” Prashant Shukla, a local from Ghaziabad, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI

With the situation showing nosigns of improvement, the authorities in neighbouring Noida have ordered schools to remain shut till Tuesday.

On Friday the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) declared a public health emergency across the National Capital Region after pollution levels entered into “emergency” category for the first time since January. Shut in Delhi, which opened after Diwali, have been shut till Tuesday to minimise exposure of children to pollution.

Delhi air quality plummeted post-Diwali, which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said was the “lowest in five years”. Mr Kejriwal has urged the centre to address the matter, saying air pollution “is a North India issue” and therefore requires a North India solution under the “chairmanship” of the Union Minister.

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