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Delhi pollution unlikely to improve till November 17

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 14, 2019 Published on November 14, 2019

File photo   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

Air quality index hovers around 460 in the Central Secretariat area of Central Delhi

Twice in two weeks schools in the national capital region of Delhi have had to remain shut due to very high levels of pollution, and the problem has yet again slipped into an emergency-like situation.

On Thursday, the smoke covered the air so bad, that satellite imagery was unable to capture the exact numbers of stubble burning incidences in Punjab and Haryana, because of low visibility.

“The effective stubble fire counts estimated as per satellites are only 69 on November 13, under dense cloudy conditions when satellite capability to detect is questionable,” stated System for Air Quality, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

SAFAR has predicted that the stubble burning incidences will continue unabated on November 14, too, contributing to more than 30 per cent. Respite may be in the fact that there is expected to be scattered rainfall over Punjab, which may likely lead to a low fire count, the SAFAR advisory stated.

The air quality index hovered around 460 in the Central Secretariat area of Central Delhi, and the warnings stated that this ‘severe,’ air quality affects health people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases. Not only outside, but people are vulnerable in their homes too, with indoor pollution levels in some cases hovering at 400, due to presence of particulate matter.

And the cloud cover over Delhi is not helping matters either, and SAFAR has stated that the air quality will continue to remain ‘severe,’ on November 15 as well. On November 16, though the wind speed is expected to increase and improve the air quality and further improvement can be expected on November 17, the advisory said.

In the light of such emergency, it remains to be seen if vehicle rationing through odd-even scheme will be extended by the Delhi government, while schools remain shut for two days.

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Published on November 14, 2019
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