NEW DELHI: Amid the rising pollution and deteriorating air quality, the next 15 days are going to be crucial said Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday.
Speaking to ANI, Rai said, “When compared to the earlier times, the situation has definitely gone better. However, according to the experts, the next 15 days will be crucial. The government is working on how to cut the sources that cause pollution”.
Rai also called for cooperation between the Central government and the state government.
“We need to work unitedly in order to curb the situation. Everyone needs to be aware of it”, he said.
Meanwhile, the air quality of the national capital continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday for the fifth day in a row with an Air Quality Index of 346, according to SAFAR-India.
As per the SAFAR-India, the city’s AQI has been in the ‘very poor’ category since Sunday (309).
Since then, the air quality has continued to go to rack and ruin in Delhi.
The AQI was recorded at 322 on Monday and 327 on Tuesday against 336 on Wednesday, as per the data provided by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.
Meanwhile, the commuters are facing health issues while there is no sign of amelioration.
“There is so much pollution here in Delhi. We are finding it difficult to breathe. We are facing irritation in the eyes too. People are flocking to doctors with respiratory problems or eye issues including many others. The Delhi government should extend its effort to curb the pollution”, said Sanjay Verma, a commuter, while speaking to ANI.
Another local, Ankit Kumar, mentioned that the deteriorating air quality is becoming a threat to the health.
“The deteriorating air quality is posing a threat to our health. Now that Diwali is around the corner, it will only get worse. The government should do something about it”, Kumar told ANI.
Meanwhile, Om Prakash Kumar, an Uttar Pradesh native, told ANI, “I came to Delhi for a piece of work but fell sick after coming here. Due to the pollution, I’m facing health issues”.
Visuals from Anand Vihar Terminal showed the place covered in a thick layer of smog.
Earlier on Tuesday, the environment ministry said in a statement that the daily average air quality in Delhi, for the 10-month period between January – October 2023, has registered its best index as compared to the corresponding period during the last 6 years (barring the COVID affected 2020), thus establishing a continual trend of relative improvement in the air quality of Delhi-NCR.
The daily average AQI for Delhi during the above-noted period during the current year has been recorded as 172 against 187 in 2022, 179 in 2021, 156 in 2020, 193 in 2019, and 201 in 2018 respectively, during the corresponding period, the statement said.
AQI levels are greatly impacted by the levels of rainfall/ precipitation and wind speed which are prime facilitators for dispersal of the pollutants/emissions. Effective dispersal is a must for good air quality, even if there is a control/reduction in the quantum of emissions from all the primary sources in the region, added the statement.
In the wake of highly unfavourable meteorological and climatic conditions prevailing around this point of time, measures under GRAP Stage-II were invoked proactively on 21.10.2023 so as to intensify the preventive measures towards endeavouring delayed invoking of Stage-III of the GRAP as much as possible. GRAP Stage-III in previous years was invoked in the last week of October which has not been the case during 2023, said the statement.
The Commission once again urges the stakeholders to effectively implement all directions and guidelines related to the abatement of air pollution, particularly under the schedule of the GRAP and the citizens to follow the Citizen Charter in our joint pursuit for better air quality. (ANI)