NEW DELHI: Delhi’s air quality remained ‘very poor’ for the third straight day on Tuesday and authorities warned that the situation may “worsen” in the coming days.
The air quality index (AQI), as maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), was 326 in a scale of 500.
Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain, in a letter to to the chief of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, said ambient air quality has improved comparatively but things will deteriorate.
“However, various meteorological forecasts and reports indicate that this phase is temporary and ambient air quality may once again worsen in the coming weeks,” Hussain wrote.
He also issued a slew of directions, including road side spraying of water, mechanical sweeping and preventing burning of waste in the open to combat the rising pollution levels. He said municipal bodies should avoid manual sweeping and in case alternates are not available then water must be sprinkled beforehand.
“Provide electrical heater to security guards in cold winter night to discourage burning of biomass for heating. Non biomass heating facility should be provided at the night shelters,” he said. The levels of ultrafine particulates PM2.5 and PM10 were 146 and 235 microgrammes per cubic metre as per the Centre-run SAFAR, as against the safe standards of 60 and 100.
A ‘very poor’ AQI comes with the warning that people may develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.