Delhi’s dreaded smog is back. The national capital today woke up to a blanket of smoke as air quality remained in the “poor” category the day before Diwali.
Delhi recorded an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of 251 at 6.30 am, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Visuals from near the Akshardham Temple in east Delhi showed poor visibility as vehicles drove through smog.
Air quality in the national capital has been deteriorating over the past couple of days. Last evening, the AQI in overall Delhi was at 266. The air quality in the Delhi University area was in the “very poor” category at 327.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai yesterday said that the government has started its 15-point Winter Action Plan to tackle air pollution.
Mr Rai said the action plan will focus on dust pollution, stubble management, open burning of garbage and a crackdown on firecrackers, among other issues. The minister had said in October during the announcement of the plan that 39 per cent of the air pollution in Delhi is generated locally and the rest comes from neighbouring areas in the National Capital Region.
The Delhi government has banned the production, storage, sale, and bursting of crackers during Diwali and violations may attract fines and jail terms.
To reduce vehicular pollution, the Delhi government has announced the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign. Under the campaign, public representatives and officials will motivate commuters to turn their vehicles off at red lights.
The air quality in the national capital is also affected because of stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan in the winter.