According to data recorded by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) at 6:00 am on Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in various parts of Delhi was a cause for concern. Anand Vihar reported an AQI of 387 (very poor), ITO in Delhi recorded 343 (very poor), Wazirpur, Delhi, faced a severe AQI of 422, and RK Puram was at 415 (severe).

Despite recent initiatives to combat air pollution, Delhi woke up to ‘very poor’ air quality on Thursday, underscoring the persistent challenges in addressing environmental hazards. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR-India) reported an overall AQI of 324 on Thursday morning.

Examining the CPCB’s data, the severity of the situation becomes evident. Anand Vihar’s AQI was in the ‘very poor’ category at 387, while ITO in Delhi recorded a similar reading of 343. Wazirpur, Delhi, experienced a ‘severe’ AQI of 422, closely followed by RK Puram at 415 (severe). Okhla Phase-2, Delhi, faced an alarming AQI of 406 (severe) at 7:00 AM.

Understanding the Air Quality Index: The AQI, ranging from 0 to 500, serves as a crucial indicator of air quality levels. A score of 0-100 is considered good, 100-200 is moderate, 200-300 is poor, 300-400 is very poor, and 400-500 or above is categorized as severe.

Regulations Eased In Delhi, But Challenges Persist: Despite a temporary improvement in Delhi’s air quality last week, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) lifted restrictions imposed under GRAP 4. However, the battle against pollution remains evident, with trucks and buses allowed back into the city.

Penalise Farmers Burning Stubble: SC: Acknowledging the severity of the situation, the Supreme Court suggested economic repercussions for farmers engaging in stubble burning. The proposal includes depriving them of Minimum Support Price (MSP) benefits to discourage practices contributing to air pollution. This suggestion emerged during a hearing related to the escalating air pollution crisis in Delhi-NCR.

NGT Expresses Dissatisfaction, Calls For Action: Expressing dissatisfaction with authorities’ efforts, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) instructed them to “take all reasonable measures to improve the quality of air in Delhi.” The court has demanded a comprehensive action taken report within a week, highlighting the urgency of addressing the environmental crisis. Citing the AQI on November 20, the court questioned the authorities’ claims of taking effective measures, emphasizing the lack of significant improvement in Delhi’s air quality. The battle against air pollution in the nation’s capital remains a pressing concern that demands immediate and effective action.

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