Sanjeev Gupta, New Delhi
Two days before the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAPE) is implemented, the air of Delhi-NCR is stifling. Due to the continuous increase in incidents of stubble burning, seven areas of Delhi including Ghaziabad fell into the Red Zone on Monday. In all these places, the air index crossed the 300 mark and reached a very poor category. Delhi’s air index also recorded the highest in the last eight months. Apart from this, the air of Kurukshetra and Panipat in Haryana and Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh also reached very poor category on Monday.
According to the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, cases of stubble burning in the border areas of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan are increasing rapidly. The highest number of cases of this season were reported on Sunday. On the other hand the wind speed is also running at just four kilometers per hour. Due to this the pollutants are freezing in the air and cannot fly. On Tuesday, a similar situation is expected. There is forecast to reduce some of this pollution when the wind speed rises to eight to ten kilometers per hour on Wednesday.
Delhi’s air index was 261 on Monday. This is the highest ever since 26 February. Then it was 274. PM 2.5 and PM-10 levels also recorded the highest of this season on Monday. According to Saffar India, PM-2.5 on Monday was 102 micrograms per cubic meter and PM-10 level was 210 micrograms per cubic meter. The air index of seven areas of East, Outer and Central Delhi also reached very poor category.
Delhi-NCR’s air index city air index category on Monday
Delhi 261 medium
Faridabad 224 Medium
Ghaziabad 302 malfunctioning
Greater Noida 292 Medium
Gurugram 259 Medium
Noida 274 Moderate Monday’s seven most polluted areas of Delhi
Area Air Index Category
Anand Vihar 307 Very Bad
Bawana 306 Very Bad
DTU 307 very bad
ITO 313 very bad
Patparganj 307 very bad
Vivek Vihar 354 Very Bad
Wazirpur 304 very bad
Three most polluted districts of the country on Monday District Air Index Category
Baghpat 333 Very Bad
Kurukshetra 315 Very Bad
Panipat 329 Very Bad
The incidents of stubble burning are not stopping, in which case pollution is bound to increase. Grape will be implemented in Delhi-NCR from October 15. Along with this, restrictions will also be imposed at many levels in line with the level of the air index. Apart from this, some more strict decisions can also be taken based on the report of the task force of the CPCB.
Bhurelal, President, Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Authority (EPCA)
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