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Air pollution in Delhi-NCR: Did CAQM directive help any better?

 
New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Two days after the emergency measures kicked in as per the CAQM directives to check air pollution in Delhi and NCR, an expert associated with analysing air pollution data has said that the air quality in Delhi has improved by about 18-22 per cent.

The Commission for Air Quality Management for Delhi and Surrounding Areas (CAQM), prompted by the Supreme Court, had directed multiple steps to be taken by the Centre and the state governments after almost the whole last week and the weekend had 'severe' and 'very poor' air quality index. The Air Quality Index was well past 400 at scores of places and touching 500 plus in some of them in the NCR region.

The decision was made on late Tuesday night and the directives were applicable since Wednesday morning.

The emergency measures had included several actions such as 50 per cent work from home, ban on trucks into Delhi, ban on construction and demolition activity with some exemptions and shutting down six thermal plants within the radius of 300 kms among the steps that were taken with immediate effect.

"The Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi and Adjoining Areas successfully managed to restrict air quality in Delhi below the upper end of 'Vey Poor' category with slew of measures imposed on Tuesday," said Sachin Ghude from Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune.

IITM, Pune provides Decision Support System (DSS) that helps air quality early warning system (AQEWS) for Delhi and NCR's air pollution/air quality. IITM is a scientific agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

"Without these measures air quality in Delhi, as per the IITM EWS forecast, could have reached to 'severe' to the upper end of 'severe' category yesterday and today. Imposing these slew of measures CAQM managed to improve "air quality in Delhi by about 18-22 per cent," Ghude, IITM's Project Lead, Wifex/AQEWS, said.

Predicting the outlook for next five days, the IITM AQEWS said: The air quality is likely to improve significantly from November 21 owing to relatively strong winds and may reach 'poor category'. PM2.5 would be the predominant pollutant.

The AQI at various places across Delhi NCR at 12 midnight and 12 noon on Friday are as follows:

East Delhi: Anand Vihar (389, 401), Vivek Vihar (398, 409), IHBAS, Dilshad Garden (353, 348).

North Delhi: Alipur (378, 394), Bawana (421, 406), Jahangirpuri (432, 437) and Narela (394, 409).

South Delhi: Sirifort (342, 346), CRRI Mathura Road (365, 360), Okhla Phase II (377, 372), Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range (338, 349) and IGI Airport (331, 331).

Central Delhi: Chandni Chowk (366, 359), ITO (356, 377) and Lodhi Road (252, 290).

West Delhi: Mundka (417, 414), Najafgarh (333, 336), Pusa (306, 329) and Wazirpur (404, 405).

Ghaziabad: Indirapuram (363, 369), Sanjay Nagar (351, 358) and Vasundhara (371, 369).

Noida: Sector 125 (326, 334), Sector 62 (368, 391) and Sector 1 (360, 360).

Faridabad: New Industrial Town (348, 344) and Sector 30 (292, 292).

Gurugram: Gwal Pahari (280, 259) and Vikas Sadan (361, 355)

--IANS
niv/sks