Delhi’s AQI enters ‘severe category’ again: Here are top updates on pollution crisis

At 6 am, the AQI in Bawana was 434, at 404 in Dwarka Sector 8, 430 in ITO, 418 in Mundka, 418 in Narela, 402 in Okhla, and 417 in both Rohini and RK Puram, among others.

Alina Khan
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Courtesy: ANI

Post Diwali celebrations, Delhi again has landed into severe air quality today. Toxic haze enveloped the national capital and most areas recorded a 'severe' category air quality index (AQI), according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

At 6 am, the AQI in Bawana was 434, at 404 in Dwarka Sector 8, at 430 in ITO, at 418 in Mundka, at 418 in Narela, at 402 in Okhla, and 417 in both Rohini and RK Puram, among others.

On Monday, Delhi’s AQI was recorded in the 'very poor' category at 358, according to the CPCB. The situation was the same in Delhi's neighbouring cities of Noida and Gurugram in the national capital region (NCR), with the average AQI settling at 363 and 349, respectively.

Here are top updates on Delhi's pollution level:

  • The Delhi Police has lodged at least 97 cases in connection with busting firecrackers during Diwali celebrations, despite a blanket ban by the Supreme Court. With 29 and 28, respectively, most cases were registered in East Delhi and the southwest area of the national capital. No cases were filed in Rohini and the outer northern areas of Delhi.

  • With Delhi's air pollution deteriorating, authorities of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, a government hospital in the city, have decided to establish a special Out-Patient Department (OPD) for pollution-related illnesses.

    "We have decided that a special OPD will run for pollution-related illnesses where comprehensive care can be given to the patients and will include a multi-departmental clinic because pollution affects multiple organs," said Dr Ajay Shukla, Director of RML Hospital.

  • Further, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has doubled the parking fees at locations under its jurisdiction in the wake of increasing pollution levels in Delhi. The measure, effective immediately, will be in place until January 31, 2024.

    The NDMC has increased the parking fees for both on-road and off-road parking to twice their previous rates. Almost 91 parking locations are within the ambit of the NDMC, with it directly managing 41 while outsourcing the rest. High-traffic and prominent areas such as those between Rajpath and AIIMS, Sarojini Nagar market etc, come under the NDMC's parking management.

  • The air quality became worse after Diwali triggered an exchange of barbs between the ruling AAP and the BJP. Delhi Environment Minister and AAP leader Gopal Rai blamed the BJP for being unwilling to "fulfil its responsibility" of abiding by the Top Court's firecracker ban. "It is unfortunate. BJP wanted firecrackers to be burnt and the police are with BJP in all three states (Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh)," he said.

  • Responding to that, Delhi BJP Vice-President Kapil Mishra, in response, lauded Delhi residents for flouting the ban, calling the act voices "resistance, freedom and democracy". Taking to X, he said that he is "proud" of the city and added that people are "bravely defying the unscientific, illogical, dictatorial ban.”

  • Amid the worsening air quality, classes from nursery to five, which were suspended due to high air pollution levels in the district, are set to resume, authorities said on Monday. The Gurugram administration had on November 6 ordered the closure of primary schools till further orders to protect schoolchildren from rising pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).

  • Delhi's AQI slipped into the 'poor' category from 'severe' after much-needed rain on the intervening night of Friday (November 10) and Saturday (November 11), which significantly brought down pollution levels a day before Diwali. On the festival day on Sunday, the city recorded its best air quality in eight years, with the average AQI recording at 218. However, extensive bursting of firecrackers towards late evening and then night deteriorated Delhi's air quality yet again.