Delhi’s air quality slumps to ‘very poor’

New Delhi: A thick blanket of smog and haze more toxic that can be measured by the monitoring devices has engulfed Delhi and its nearby regions on Wednesday.

A thick layer of haze was visible in several parts of the capital during early morning and Centre run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) have recorded concentrations of 360 at 8:30 am.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

At Dhirpur, the AQI was at 8:30 am, while in Mathura Road area it dipped to ‘hazardous’ category at 462. Furthermore, AQI near Pitampura, Airport, Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 395, 338 and 343, respectively.

The haze will continue to persist during the early morning and late evenings for the next couple of days.

“The air quality is very poor and as expected, gradual increasing trend is noticed. it is likely to remain very poor with a gradually increasing trend for next 1 day without any major episode and then likely to decline but continue to remain in very poor. the surface wind speed further declined as compared to yesterday. all other meteorological factors are unfavorable and likely to remain so at least until tomorrow. the contribution from stubble biomass has almost seized,” SAFAR added.

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the National Capital Region has issued guidelines to the state authorities to stop the use of diesel generator sets, enhance parking fee by 3 to 4 times forcing commuters to use public transport.

Moreover, they have also urged Principal Secretary, Department of Transport of NCT of Delhi to Increase bus and metro services by augmenting contract buses and increasing frequency of service.

It has also asked Resident Welfare Associations and individual house owners to provide electric heaters during winter to security staff to avoid open burning by them.

State Pollution Control Boards of Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have been requested to issue Alert in newspapers/TV/radio to advise people with respiratory and cardiac patients to avoid polluted areas and restrict outdoor movement.

In an attempt to battle the air pollution, food experts have advised people of Delhi to add Jaggery in their diet as the ingredient will remove harmful elements from the bloodstream, lungs, respiratory tract, as well as the food pipe. “Residents suffering from cold and a cough must take a steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil in order to relax their air passages and help the body to get free from harmful particulate substances.”

Another way to prevent falling prey to airborne diseases is to incorporate citrus food such as lemon, gooseberries, oranges in your diet. The Vitamin C present in these foods will help in boosting the immunity.

Interestingly, there are certain plants, for instance, Aloe Vera, Spider Plant, Snake Plant and Bamboo Palm available in the market which can help residents to get at least clean air indoors by acting as nature’s own air purifiers .