Stubble Burning Goes On Even as NCR Wakes Up To ‘Poor’ Air Quality

Delhi-NCR has been waking up to hazardous air quality ahead of Diwali, but there is no respite from stubble burning.

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Residents of the National Capital Region have been waking up to ‘poor’ air quality, with particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter being the primary pollutant. Seventeen of the 37 air quality monitoring stations in Delhi recorded the overall AQI to be in the ‘very poor’ category, according to data of the Central Pollution Control Board.

But even so, stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana continues.

Major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 were above 250 in most parts of Delhi. The AQI at Mundka, Dwarka Sector 8, Delhi Technological University, Anand Vihar, Wazirpur, Rohini, Bawana, Ashok Vihar, Nehru Nagar and Jahangirpuri was 368, 362, 355, 328, 323, 323, 320, 319, 319 and 318.

The neighbouring areas of Ghaziabad (337), Loni Dehat (335), Noida (318) and Greater Noida (308) also recorded a spike in pollution levels.

For the residents of the National Capital Region, the next few days are going to get worse, as the air quality is expected to enter the "severe" category.

In fact, the National Capital Region woke up to 'hazardous' air quality ahead of Diwali. Post Diwali, there is generally a further spike in the hazardous quality of the air. Citizens found it difficult to breathe and shared their ordeal on social media, as dense smog engulfed most of Delhi-NCR.

All this, and yet, stubble burning in the neighbouring states continues.

The Delhi government is set to bring back the odd-even road rationing scheme from 4 to 15 November, besides outlining several other measures to combat high-level of air pollution.

CM Arvind Kejriwal announced the odd-even scheme as part of the seven-point 'Parali Pradushan' action plan that also includes mass distribution of anti-pollution masks, mechanised sweeping and water sprinkling on the roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hotspots in the city.

While these plans are positive, Delhi will continue to breathe poison if there is no respite from stubble burning soon.

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