Delhi still breathes toxic air as AQI continues to be in ‘very poor’ category

According to SAFAR-India, the AQI in Delhi at 8:30 on Monday stood at 310.

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Courtesy: ANI

Delhi continues to stay in the ‘very poor category’ as the Air Quality Index (AQI) records 310 today. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India), the air quality index in the national capital was recorded at 310 at 8:30 am on Monday, categorising it as 'very poor.'

Delhi’s AQI remains in very poor category

Meanwhile, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI at 7:00 am on Monday in parts of Delhi were: Anand Vihar was recorded at 361; it was 368 at Alipur; Ashok Vihar at 342; ITO, Delhi at 318; and at RK Puram, it was recorded at 344, all falling into the 'very poor' category.

Gopal Rai on Delhi’s pollution crisis

Amid the constant pollution level, Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Sunday urged people to be careful and continue to follow the rules as stages 1, 2, and 3 of GRAP are still in place to tackle air pollution in the national capital.

According to Gopal Rai, though there has been a constant improvement in air quality, people still need to be aware to maintain this improvement.

"There has been constant improvement in pollution levels over the last two days. The AQI as of today has reached 290. I want to request the people of Delhi and North India to remain vigilant. Although there has been improvement in pollution, we still need to be cautious. Before Diwali, the AQI had reached 215, but the carelessness that followed led to an increase in the AQI after Diwali,” the Delhi minister added.

With an improvement in the air quality in the city, the CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management) on Saturday revoked the restrictions that were imposed under GRAP 4, permitting trucks and buses except for BS-3 and BS-4 petrol and diesel vehicles to enter the city and lifting the ban on ongoing construction activities.

The environmental minister further emphasised that all three phases of GRAP 1, GRAP 2 and GRAP 3 are still to be implemented in Delhi. Once there is further improvement in pollution levels, the withdrawal of these restrictions will also be considered, he added.

Restrictions on vehicles in Delhi

Speaking about the restrictions related to vehicles, Gopal Rai said, "The ban on the entry of trucks has been revoked but the ban is still in place on the BS3 petrol vehicles and BS4 diesel vehicles. So the ban has been revoked only on trucks or vehicles that are above BS 4."

He also mentioned that the linear projects, including Raj Marg, roads, flyovers, foot-over bridges and other similar projects that were stopped under GRAP 4, have been granted permission to resume their work now.

Listing out the areas where construction work can be carried out, Gopal Rai mentioned railway, metro, station projects, airports, international bus terminals, procedures related to national security, projects of national importance, hospitals, linear projects, and cleanliness projects.

"The activities that are still prohibited include boring and digging, structural construction, demolition and loading or unloading of construction material at project sites," he said.

Moreover, enlisting the prohibited activities, he mentioned vehicles on unmetalled roads, benching plant operation, cutting and work related to tiles and other flooring material cutting and mining activities.

"We have to ensure that we do not get confused between GRAP 4 and GRAP 3 restrictions, as GRAP-4 restrictions have been removed but GRAP 3 restrictions are still in place," Rai added.