A visible improvement in Delhi’s air quality was recorded on Sunday although it was in the ‘very poor’ category while the city’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said his government will submit a lockdown proposal to the Supreme Court on Monday to reduce pollution further.
The national capital recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 330 on Sunday as against 437 the previous day as emissions from farm fires in Haryana and Punjab dropped significantly. The AQI was and 471 on Friday, the worst this season so far.
The air quality index of neighbouring Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad, Greater Noida was recorded at 331, 287, 321, 298 and 310, respectively.
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’.
The India Meteorological Department said visibility levels ranged from 1,500 to 2,200 metres at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and from 1,000 to 1,500 metres at the Safdarjung Airport.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the city government will on Monday submit to the Supreme Court a proposal on clamping a lockdown and its modalities.
The apex court had on Saturday termed the rise in pollution levels an “emergency situation” and suggested clamping a lockdown in the national capital.
The Delhi government has already announced the closure of physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions, except those where exams are being conducted, for a week from Monday.
All government offices, agencies and autonomous bodies, except those involved in essential services, have been directed to ask employees to work from home. No construction and demolition activity is allowed in the capital till November 17.