Delhi's air quality near 'severe', three most polluted cities from NCR

Delhi-NCR To Observe'Clean Air Week From November 1-5

Environment ministry forms teams to report incidents of pollution

The national capital's air quality was on the brink of turning severe on Thursday, November 1, due to stubble-burning in the adjoining regions and unfavourable meteorological conditions, authorities said.

300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

Wazirpur, Sonia Vihar and Ashok Vihar recorded "severe" quality air while 28 other areas recorded "very poor" quality air, according to the CPCB data. The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said the AQI of Delhi-NCR would continue to remain in the upper range of the "very poor" category in the next three days.

Speaking to ANI, Baljit Singh, a sports enthusiast, said the toxic air is making it impossible for him to maintain his health, adding that the situation has worsened in the last 2-3 years.

Air pollution is the fourth biggest threat to public health in the United Kingdom, after cancer, obesity and heart disease. "The counsel for Delhi government has been asked to advise his client to act with promptitude", the bench said.

Meanwhile, SAFAR advised people to avoid all outdoor physical activities and those with asthma to keep relief medication handy. Do wet mopping to reduce dust. The minimum temperatures was recorded at 16 degrees Celsius, season's average.

He was addressing mediaperson in New Delhi after a detailed review meeting with NCR Ministers and Senior officers on implementation of Air Pollution Control Action Plan for NCR.

According to early warnings, wind speeds over Delhi may remain between 5-10 kmph till the weekend.

The Supreme Court-appointed body Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has also warned that it could even ban private vehicles or introduce odd and even road rationing measures in the coming days after consulting the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) task force.

On October 31, the apex court had issued an order clarifying that only green crackers can be sold in the Delhi-NCR region during the festive season.

"Why didn't ministers from other states attend?"

The first-ever worldwide air pollution conference organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) brought together government officials and health experts from more than 100 countries to place the issue on the global agenda.

Air quality in Gurugram further deteriorated with a "severe" AQI of 435.

Large scale studies have demonstrated that there is a correlation between poor air quality and lower IQ levels and that higher levels of nitrogen oxide-a particularly pernicious component of air pollution-can drive psychiatric disorders in children.

The organisation had also suggested aggressive shutdown of old polluting power plants and prioritising renewable energy sources over coal-based power plant for future electricity demand. As a result, people in places like rural India often have to resort to burning their household waste as well as burning biomass for fuel.

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