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National capital Delhi's administration on Sunday issued orders to ban construction and demolition activities in and around the national capital as the air quality further dipped to ‘severe' after marking ‘very poor’ on the AQI for five straight days.

The Delhi government has instructed all demolitions and construction activities to be halted till further orders, news agency PTI reported. The severe air pollution in the city has moved the Centre's air quality panel to ban non-essential construction work in Delhi-NCR.

The panel had last month also imposed a ban on construction activity in the Delhi-NCR region to curb rising air pollution. However, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had directed authorities on November 14 to revoke the curbs enforced in the Delhi-NCR under stage III of GRAP, including a ban on non-essential construction activities.

On Sunday the AQI measured 407, worse than that recorded on Saturday. Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index stood at 407 at 4 pm on Sunday. The pollution level in Delhi entered the 'severe' category after November 4, when the AQI was 447.

"The air quality in the national capital is in the severe category with an air quality index of around 400, but from today evening onwards, the air quality of the national capital is likely to improve," India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist Vijay Soni had told news agency ANI.

On Saturday Delhiites had woken up to a smog and the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 323, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). According to the SAFAR, Delhi's air quality remained in the 'very poor' category for the fifth day straight.

On Friday, the AQI was recorded at 335 in the morning.

Meanwhile, Noida also recorded 'very poor' AQI at 379.

The Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.

National capital Delhi faces an increasing impact of surging air pollution, especially during winters every year when farm burning from neighbouring Punjab, construction work and bursting of firecrackers increases the particulate matter in the air creating smog. 

This in turn triggers surging respiratory ailments in Delhi residents. 

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

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