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Air quality in Delhi dips to very poor, emergency meeting held

October 19, 2018

It's still a few months to go for the winter season and the air quality in the national capital has already dropped to very poor. This rating comes just days after tough measures under the graded response action plan (Grap) came into force in Delhi and surrounding region of NCR.

The air quality index was at 313, which was mainly due to wind speed dropping to zero. Officials say there were other factors as well, like local emissions and stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana.

Pollution levels are likely to rise even more in the next few days. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) held a meeting on Thursday to look at what steps need to be taken to stop this dip.

As wind speed dropped to zero, the pollutants could not disperse. Besides that, wind direction has changed to northwest, thereby carrying into Delhi pollutants from stubble burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana. Also, the festive rush on roads is adding to the vehicular emissions. - Central Pollution Control Board.

Meanwhile, steps are being taken to enforce a ban on diesel generator (DG) sets, firewood in hotels, introduce more public transport, and spreading greater public awareness.

There was a move to hike parking fees by three to four times, but this will not come into effect this year as the Delhi Parking Policy 2017 is yet to be notified.

Meanwhile residential organizations are taking to social media to issue health warnings. URJA, an apex body of resident welfare associations, tweeted, "Concentration of pollutants rising by the day. Air quality worsens. Watch your health."

Air pollution has been linked to various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, reduced cognition and dementia.

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