The air quality in the national capital deteriorated and settled in the “very poor” category on Thursday morning. According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 337 and is likely to remain in the category for the next few days.
The AQI between 0 to 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 fall under the category of ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 is marked as ‘moderate’, 201 to 300 ‘poor’, 301 to 400 ‘very poor’ and 500 and beyond is considered as ‘severe’.
According to environmentalists, the recent fire in the Bhalswa landfill was to be attributed for the poor air quality in the city. Also, the stubble burning by farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana contribute significantly to the pollution in the national capital.
In an attempt to reduce the air pollution, the Supreme Court on Wednesday passed an order stating that no automobile manufacturer will be allowed to sell any BS-IV vehicles after March 31, 2020. Only vehicles that meet BS-VI emission standards can be sold from April 1, 2020.
According to the ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation), 2015, BS VI vehicles in India will significantly reduce both Nitrogen Oxide and PM in the air. In terms of PM, there will be a reduction of around 50 per cent from BS IV to BS VI emission standards. Similarly, for Nitrogen Oxide, the reduction will be around 89 per cent from BS IV to BS VI.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday ruled that people in the country can burst firecrackers from 8 PM to 10 PM only on Diwali and other festivals, permitting the sale and manufacture of low emission “green” firecrackers countrywide. Environment and health experts welcomed the order, with some describing it as a “spectacular” decision, while others saying it was time the society celebrated festive occasions “more responsibly”.