The national capital on Saturday woke up to witness dense smog as 'severe' air quality was recorded. In the Anand Vihar area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 333 (very poor category) and PM 10 at 308 (very poor category), according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). At the Sukhdev Vihar area, PM 2.5 was at 360 and PM 10 at 303. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded poor, PM 2.5 was at 340 while PM 10 at 256.
Delhi: Major pollutant PM 2.5 and PM 10 are at 250 and 259 respectively in Lodhi Road area, both in 'Poor' category, according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data. pic.twitter.com/0VkHE56Pkx— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2018
ALSO READ | Delhi's air quality very poor
On Friday, the air quality also remained in the very poor category. The air quality in Mundka, Nehru Nagar, Rohini, and Wazirpur was recorded in the 'severe' category. It was 'very poor' in 24 areas and 'poor' in four areas of the national capital, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.
According to a study, published in the Lancet Planetary Health journal, Delhi recorded 12,322 deaths due to air pollution last year. National capital recorded the highest PM 2.5 exposure level followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana and Rajasthan. There were 6.7 lakh deaths due to outdoor particulate matter air pollution and 4.8 lakh deaths due to household air pollution in India last year, it said.
The Environment Pollution Control Authority expressed concern over hired private diesel vehicles being used by the state and central governments officials in the Delhi-NCR. EPCA, in its meeting, said they are seriously considering banning industrial, construction and demolition activities at major pollution hotspots in Delhi-NCR when air quality levels reach 'severe' category.
Delhi is reeling under the menace of air pollution for the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year when severe pollution level forced the shutdown of schools and colleges. In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out.