After a few days of respite, the overall Air Quality Index in the national capital on Friday morning slipped to 368 in ‘very poor’ category, while Particulate Matter (PM) 10 continued to remain a lead pollutant.
As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), a central forecasting agency, the PM 10 in the national capital was recorded at 366 in ‘very poor’ category and PM 2.5 was recorded at 208 in ‘very poor’ category. In the coming days the PM 10 in the air may further deteriorate to ‘severe’ levels, SAFAR stated.
AQI between the range of 51 and 100 is considered as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘very good’, 101-200 is ‘moderate’, 201-300 falls under the category of ‘poor’. While 300-400 is considered as ‘very poor’, levels between 401-500 fall under the ‘hazardous’ category.
Meanwhile, all private and government schools in Gurgaon will reopen on Friday after being shut for nearly 15 days due to a sudden spike in air pollution levels in the National Capital Region. Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon Dr Yash Garg announced that classes will be held in schools and educational institutions as usual from tomorrow following all Covid protocols.
Schools in four Haryana districts close to the national capital were initially shut till November 17. In view of the toxic smog and bad air quality in Delhi, all government and private schools were ordered to remain shut in the adjoining districts of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.
In Delhi, the schools are scheduled to reopen from Monday. The state government also stated that all government offices will also open from next week but state employees should use public transport and government-run feeder buses.
Although, with improved wind speed, earlier this week the pollution levels dropped marginally but the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Thursday touched 393 on a scale of 500, indicating risks of respiratory illness from prolonged exposure.
In order to control the pollution levels, the Delhi government also announced a ban on the entry of diesel trucks with non-essential goods, and only natural gas and electric-powered vehicles have been allowed into the teeming city of more than 20 million people. The Delhi government has hired an extra 700 CNG buses to encourage people to use public transport. And a ban on construction has been reimposed to curb dust, a major source of pollution.