Delhi: Air quality severe third day in a row, residents gasping for breath

DELHI : Delhi Air Quality Index (AQI) today continued to be in the severe category, the third consecutive day, with people complaining of breathing difficulties and burning eyes.

At 11 am on Thursday, the highest Air Quality Index (AQI) of 469 was recorded at Anand Vihar, though most areas had AQI above the 400-mark, according to the National Air Quality Index maintained by the Central Board of Pollution Control (CPCB).

An AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor” and 401-500 “severe”. Above 500 falls in the “severe-plus emergency” category.

In Noida, the highest AQI recorded at 11 am was 460 at Sector-116, but it was above the 400-mark at all other recording stations.

In Gurugram, the AQI at Vikas Sadan was 345, which falls in the very poor categor

In view of the prevaling air pollution, on Wednesday, Delhi pollution control authorities recommended extending ban on construction activities and shutting down coal-based and non-PNG industries in the NCR area till November 2.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the government would start distributing masks to schoolchildren on Friday. “We are procuring 50 lakh masks… we will distribute masks to every household through private and government school students. Every student will be given a packet with two masks each,” the CM said.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution rose to 35 per cent on Wednesday, the season’s highest, and the hazardous haze shrouding the city could “purely” be attributed to it