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Delhi's air quality hits 'very poor' level as stubble burning begins

A policeman sits in front of a barricade near India Gate amid smoggy condition in New Delhi on October 13, 2020. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (AFP)Premium
A policeman sits in front of a barricade near India Gate amid smoggy condition in New Delhi on October 13, 2020. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (AFP)

  • Delhi recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 304 at 9:30 am, which falls in the 'very poor' category
  • Starting October 15, stricter measures to fight air pollution will also come into force in Delhi and its neighbourhood

Delhi's air quality has reached the 'very poor' category today. To fight the pollution menace, the Delhi government launched a campaign, "War against Pollution" (Yuddh Pradushan ke Viruddh) on October 9.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, an increase in farm fires in Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring regions of Pakistan is also going to impact the air quality in Delhi-NCR.

The city recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 304 at 9:30 am, which falls in the “very poor" category. The 24-hour average AQI was 261 on Monday, the worst since February. It was 216 on Sunday and 221 on Saturday.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 is 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 is marked as 'severe/hazardous'.

With Delhi-NCR bracing for months of poor air quality, experts have warned that high levels of air pollution can aggravate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Severe air pollution in Delhi is a year-round problem, which can be attributed to unfavourable meteorological conditions, farm fires in neighbouring regions and local sources of pollution.

Starting October 15, stricter measures to fight air pollution will also come into force in Delhi and its neighbourhood as part of the Graded Response Action Plan, which was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017.

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