Delhi chokes under a haze of dust as air quality worsens

Delhi chokes under a haze of dust as air quality worsens

As per CPCB, the PM10 (particles with diameter less than 10 mm) level was beyond "severe - at 778 - in Delhi-NCR, and 824 in Delhi in particular, leading to hazy conditions and limiting visibility".

Taking cognizance of the plummeting air quality levels, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday ordered to stop all civil construction activities across the national capital from June 15 to 17 to bring down the severe dust pollution.

However, influx of dust from Rajasthan slowed down significantly and local winds in Delhi have picked up due to which dispersion of pollutants have become faster and the air quality is expected to return to "very poor" category from "severe" by tomorrow, said Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute (SAFAR).

Meanwhile, to combat with "dusty" air pollution, all the civic agencies have come up together with various initiatives like restrictions on constructions (Civil), Sprinkling of Water to settle down dust, mechanical sweeping of roads etc. It advised people to not stay outside for long hours and use filter masks to prevent irritation.

"Information about procurement of saplings, identified areas for plantation activities can be obtained from Delhi government's Forest Department", he said in a statement. "Green Delhi our common goal", the L-G posted on Twitter.

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The Central Pollution Control Board or CPCB had on Thursday asked for all construction activities to be stopped temporarily as part of emergency measures to curb dust pollution.

Pollution levels reached 30 times the World Health Organization's safe limits in some areas of Delhi a year ago. The dust-laden winds have created a haze in Delhi-NCR since yesterday. In November previous year, both PM2.5 and PM10 had spiked which was posing serious health hazard.

The wind direction in Delhi since Sunday has changed to West and North West and then since Tuesday to West and South West, due to which hot air, along with dust from Rajasthan has started moving into Delhi.

High air pollution levels can cause respiratory problems even in healthy people and seriously affect people with lung/heart disease.

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