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Blanket of smog covers Delhi as air pollution worsens before Diwali

New Delhi [India], October 22 (ANI): A blanket of smog engulfed the national capital on Saturday morning as the pollution level deteriorated to the “poor” category ahead of Diwali.

The air quality in the national capital remained in the ‘poor’ category on Saturday with an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 262, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

In the morning, the India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan were not visible clearly as smog covered the Kartavya Path

A cyclist, Shastik Tripathi, who was at the Kartavya Path this morning, said, “I have been cycling for the last six years here. Whenever I am cycling I feel suffocated. So many other people also feel the same and many of them are my friends. I came across the news that a resident of Noida, who ran a gym, died due to suffocation. In Delhi, I am a victim of pollution.”

Another cyclist, Ningu said he cycles to remain fit and healthy but pollution is making it very difficult to do so.

“I am cycling to remain fit and healthy. We are from Pedal Cycle Group. I cycle 4 km every day but today the weather is foggy, and pollution is increasing. Facing difficulty in cycling today and it is happening before Diwali. The pollution might have deteriorated because of the surrounding areas. We are really afraid that the pollution level is increasing before Diwali,” said Ningu.

Nikhil, who came for a morning walk, urged people not to burst crackers on Diwali.

“The pollution has deteriorated before Diwali, don’t know what will happen after Diwali this year. We have to work on it together. People should use public transport. Yesterday, was a heavy traffic day. We should promote cycling and people should not burst firecrackers on Diwali. On this occasion, we all should celebrate at home with family and friends,” said Nikhil.

Another resident of Delhi, Nitmala Deshmukh said that the pollution in the national capital is in poor category before Diwali because of global warming

“Diwali should be celebrated with Green firecrackers. It’s a culture of Diya not to spread pollution,” Deshmukh added.

Punam Mehta said that the India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan were not not clearly visble which indicated the level of pollution.

“Weather was humid a few days ago, now the pollution is increasing on a daily basis. It is because of the stubble burning in surrounding states. If today is a polluted day, then what will happen after Diwali? We are senior citizens. We came to India Gate to walk and the weather changes affect our health. We could not see India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan clearly. It shows it is a polluted day,” said Mehta.

Speaking about bursting firecrackers on Diwali Mehta said “Firecrackers have been banned by the government people should follow it. I have relatives who are facing difficulty in breathing. People avoid walking nowadays.”

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had said that Delhi-NCR’s Air Quality Index (AQI) is likely to be 300 plus on October 22.

The CAQM in its tweet said that air quality will move towards “Very Poor” and further actions under Stage I will be intensified.

“All actions as envisaged under Stage II of the GRAP – ‘Very POOR’ Air Quality to be implemented in the right earnest and further actions under Stage I to be intensified by all the agencies concerned,” read the tweet from CAQM.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has banned the production, storage, sale, and bursting of crackers this year as well as fines and jail terms in case of violation.

In a bid to reduce vehicular pollution, the Delhi Government also announced the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign.

Under the campaign, public representatives and officials will motivate commuters to turn their vehicles off at red lights in a bid to curb vehicular pollution.

The air quality in the national capital is also affected because of stubble burning in surrounding Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan in the winter. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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