Delhi continues to grapple with severe air pollution, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) standing at 323, classifying it as ‘very poor.’ While there has been marginal improvement noted, major relief from the persistently high pollution levels is unlikely in the upcoming days.
On Sunday, November 19, the capital and its suburbs experienced a slight improvement, yet the current AQI suggests a prolonged battle against pollution. The morning temperature recorded by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stood at 13.2 degrees Celsius.
Following a slight improvement, certain restrictions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) – 4 were lifted in Delhi. However, Environment Minister Gopal Rai cautioned citizens to continue adhering to rules, emphasizing the ongoing implementation of stages 1, 2, and 3 of GRAP to combat air pollution.
Gopal Rai stated, “Though there has been a constant improvement in air quality, people still need to be aware to maintain this improvement,” as quoted by ANI.
As per SAFAR, the air quality index at IIT Delhi measured 321, at the Airport (Terminal 3) area was 336, and at Pusa, it was 337. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded AQI levels of 374 in Anand Vihar, 399 in Jahangirpuri, 315 in Lodhi Road, and 370 in New Moti Bagh.
The AQI scale categorizes air quality: 0 to 100 (good), 101 to 200 (satisfactory), 201 to 300 (moderate), 301 to 400 (poor), 401 to 450 (very poor), and above 450 (severe plus), according to PTI.
Despite improved air quality, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) lifted restrictions under GRAP 4 on Saturday, permitting the entry of trucks and buses into the city. However, the ban on certain categories of petrol and diesel vehicles (BS-3 and BS-4) remains, and the prohibition on construction work has been lifted.
As Delhi strives for cleaner air, the challenge persists, urging sustained efforts and collective awareness among its residents.