Delhi on Sunday woke up on Sunday engulfed by a dense, poisonous blanket of smog causing lower visibility, burning eyes, sore throat and serious breathing trouble. The national capital witnessed the worst level of Air quality Index on Sunday since November 2016. ‘Good’ or ‘safe’ Air Quality Index is when it is within 100. Delhi saw the AQI rising from 399 to 494 in a matter of 24 hours.
Further, the concentration of PM2.5 pollutants is on the peak at 992 µg/m3, as recorded in the Alipur monitoring station. The number indicates that the proportion of one of the most harmful aerosols is over 16 times of what is considered a safe level.
As per experts, Diwali as well as light rains (causing humidity and reactions and trapping dust particles and pollutants within 50 meters) have played a role in the AQI spike. Meanwhile, authorities are playing a blame game.
The residents are angry and questions have been rising on the effectiveness of GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan). GRAP is a set of curbs that are supposed to be implemented automatically as and when pollution level crossed the safe thresholds.