Delhi Pollution: Tuesday gets slight relief; situation to worsen again on Diwali

People take desperate measures to fight polluted air. File

The sale of air purifiers had surged 40 percent from a year ago because of increasing public awareness about the effects of pollution on health, company and industry officials said.

The Supreme Court has also appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which has restricted several activities like construction from November 1, urged Delhi citizens on Wednesday to use public transport for the next 10 days when the air quality is likely to deteriorate further.

Chief Engineer Karunesh Garg said that it is good thing that Amritsar's AQI is recorded good on the Diwali eve.

In NCR, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded "severe" pollution levels while Gurgaon recorded "very poor" air quality, CPCB data showed.

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Even as the Centre said factors like weather, wind speed and stubble burning in states were not under its control but it was making efforts to improve the air quality, opposition Congress accused the NDA and AAP governments of putting Delhittes at the risk of "death by breath".

The SAFAR has forecasted worse quality air for Wednesday evening and Thursday.

Winds coming from the north-west direction is bringing influence of biomass burning pollutants in Delhi-National Capital Region which may continue up to Wednesday morning, said Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. As part of the emergency measures, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has asked all stone crushers and hot mix plants to remain shut during the period.

Despite the Supreme Courts directives, people in Delhi-NCR on Wednesday continued to burst crackers on Diwali well past the 10 p.m. deadline though the air quality index (AQI) showed a slight improvement over previous year.

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He was addressing mediaperson in New Delhi after a detailed review meeting with NCR Ministers and Senior officers on implementation of Air Pollution Control Action Plan for NCR. Come Diwali, the air pollution levels are already predicted to hit the sky.

In Geneva today, the United Kingdom government has further committed to take action in bringing down particulate matter in the country, the most harmful air pollutant, promising to halve the number of British people living with concentrations of particulate matter above the World Health Organization guideline of 10 μg/m3 by 2025.

New Delhi, a city that has long struggled with pollution, now faces an air quality crisis.

SAFAR has also predicted that the PM10 concentration of Delhi is expected to reach 575 and PM2.5 to 378 on Thursday, recording the worst air quality of the year if firecrackers are burnt, it said. Other complaints included that of vehicular emission, traffic congestion, industrial emission, open or garbage burning, leaf burning, road dust, unpaved road, fire in landfill sites, air pollution from generators among others, it said.

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