On the Dussehra eve, Delhi recorded higher levels of harmful primary pollutants as National Air Quality Index (NAQI) tagged the air quality under poor category in various areas of the National Capital Region (NCR).
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), a unit of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, (MoES) recorded higher level of pollutants than its prescribed standards.
And other pollution monitoring agencies — Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and US Embassy — measured values of sulphur dioxide, nitrate oxide, particulate matter (10) and 2.5 advanced than the standards of World Health Organisation (WHO).
Environmentalists attributed the reason of polluted air to late withdrawal of monsoon in Northern India affecting adversely the dispersion of suspended particulate matters (SPMs) in the atmosphere. In a preventive measure, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday sought the Transport Department’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers and CNG-run vehicles in the odd-even scheme which will be implemented during the November 4-15 period.
Meanwhile, scientists have warned that the air quality may become even worse in case firecrackers are burst or stubble burned in neighbouring States.
On Monday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was measured at 128 µgm-3 and Chandni Chowk, Anand Vihar, ITO and RK Puram fared worst. The Met Department has also marked surface wind direction (westerly) side as 'unfavourable".
In its health bulletin, SAFAR said, “Consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Take it easy if symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath occur.”