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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Delhi's air quality plunges to season's worst, like the 1952 Great Smog in London

The dense cover of grey haze covering Delhi for almost a week, just like the 1952 Great Smog in London, on Sunday plunged the city's air quality to the season's worst, with even the 24-hour-average threatening to go past the maximum limit.

The realtime readings of respirable pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 breached the safe standards by over 17 times at many places. The hourly AQI(air quality index) of monitoring stations run by CPCB and SAFAR remained 500 plus, which is beyond the maximum limit.

The level of sulphur dioxide is still in control in the city, in terms of other parameters like volume of particulates, the situation was nearly as bad as the infamous London episode that had resulted in around 4,000 premature deaths.

In the London smog of 1952 about 4,000 people had died prematurely when average PM levels were about 500 microgramme per cubic metre along with high SO2 levels. Here, SO2 may not be that high, but as we saw on Diwali, several gases had increased substantially. Overall it is a toxic cocktail.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday ordered shutting down of schools till Wednesday, banned all construction works for five days and directed temporary closure of a power plant, while mulling the possibility of cloud-seeding to bring in artificial rains over the city.

Kejriwal indulging in blame game, it has become the habit of Kejriwal, he was saying the pollution in delhi has increased due to neighbouring state crop burning. The center also says there is emergency situation in Delhi.

Kejriwal is in favour of exploring the possibility of bringing back the odd-even car rationing scheme, while appealing to the people to stay indoors and work from home if possible, considering the alarming levels of pollution.

Emergency measures announcing by Delhi Government:
* All diesel gen-sets has been prohibited for the next five days beginning Monday, barring emergency services like hospitals and mobile towers.
* Schools will be closed for the next three days. The health department will issue the first pollution advisory tomorrow. We also appeal to the people to stay indoors and work from home, if possible.
* Delhi government also decided to shut down the coal- based Badarpur power plant, considered one of the key sources of pollution, for 10 days from Monday. The plant generates around 300MW of power.
* All construction and demolition works in the city have been banned for five days, it was also decided that the PWD would carry out water sprinkling on roads of 100-foot width from Monday at least once a week.

The Delhi Government and the center together should find the solution as emergency measures to save the life of Delhi. If it did not came down in 2-3 days then, the people of Delhi have to move somewhere to save his life.

The government should be aware of this type fog, because it happens post Diwali every year, but this year it has cross the limit.

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