As Delhi Chokes In Dust And Haze, Pollution Body CPCB Orders These Measures

As Delhi air quality plummeted, the Central Pollution Control Board has asked all construction activity in the capital to be stopped.

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As Delhi Chokes In Dust And Haze, Pollution Body CPCB Orders These Measures

Delhi air quality fell sharply this week, prompting the return of pollution masks on the city's streets.

New Delhi:  As Delhi struggled to breathe in air that remained in the "severe" levels of pollution for the third straight day, the government brought in a number of measures to tackle the crisis. A thick haze of dust and smoke hung over large parts of Delhi and authorities warned the conditions are likely to prevail for another three to four days, advising people to avoid staying outdoors for long hours.

The Central Pollution Control Board or CPCB has asked for all construction activity to be stopped in the national capital region or NCR as Delhi and its neighbouring townships of Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad are known.

The authority also ordered stone crushing to be stopped with immediate effect in all areas as well.

The fire brigade has been asked to sprinkle water across Delhi to bring down the dust and particulate matter suspended in the air.

It has also asked municipal corporation to bring in road sweeping machines to keep the dust off the streets.

The air quality in Delhi deteriorated because of dust storms in western India, particularly Rajasthan, which increased coarser particles in the air, the CPCB said.

The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 mm) was beyond severe at 796 in Delhi-NCR and 830 in Delhi particularly, leading to hazy conditions.

According to the CPCB, the air quality index - a measurement of the concentration of toxic particulate matter in the air - at several places in Delhi remained beyond the 500-mark, with east Delhi's Anand Vihar area recording a PM10 level of 929 and PM2.5 level of 301 this morning.

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An AQI between 0-50 is considered "Good", 51-100 "Satisfactory", 101-200 "Moderate", 201-300 "Poor", 301-400 "Very Poor", and 401-500 "Severe".

The wind blowing in the region has contributed to the spread of dust particles. According to the Met department, wind speed reaching up to 35 kmph is predicted for today in Delhi. The dust-laden winds have created a haze in Delhi-NCR since yesterday.

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