Delhi Air Quality Index hits the 'poor' mark; Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata see relatively better air

Haryana reported a slight decrease in number of stubble burning incidents but Punjab had a massive increase of 45 percent.

The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi has taken a turn for the worse. Delhiites have woken up to a thick blanket of smog covering the city. The crop burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab are thought to be the cause of the bad AQI.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

A person covering his mouth to resist smoke. Image: Helen Sushitskaya / shutterstock

A person covering his mouth with a mask. Image: Helen Sushitskaya / shutterstock

The AQI in Anand Vihar, Wazirpur, Vivek Vihar, Mundka, Bawana, Jahangirpuri was 327, 323, 317, 309, 302 and 300 respectively, according to Central Pollution Control Board data.

The air quality in neighbouring Ghaziabad (320), Greater Noida (312) and Noida (310) in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana's Alipur Khalsa (351) and Panipat (339) also turned "very poor".

Faridabad, Greater Noida, Baghpat, Murthal recorded an AQI at 290, 233, 280, 259 and 245 respectively.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) issued a health advisory, asking people to reduce heavy exertion. "People with heart or kind diseases and children should avoid longer and heavy exertion. Everyone may experience health effects. Significant increase in respiratory problems," it said.

According to PTI, Haryana has reported a slight decrease in the number of stubble burning incidents, Punjab has reported a massive increase of 45 percent in such cases till October 11, according to data of pollution control boards of the two states. Despite a ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, farmers continue to defy it amid a lack of financial incentives.

Starting from 15 October, stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi and its neighbourhood as part of the Graded Response Action Plan, which was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017. These measures include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns "poor".

Other metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, as compared to Delhi, have had much better air quality.

The AQI in Indian cities. image credit: AQI

The AQI in Indian cities. image credit: AQI

The areas in Mumbai city, that have air quality stations are Vasai. Borivali, Bandra, Colaba, Airoli, Nerul, Sion and the AQI are 103, 72, 111, 92, 74, 87, 125 respectively.

The areas in Kolkata city that have air quality stations are Jadavpur, Ballygunge, Rabindra Sarobar, Siliguri, Victoria and the AQI are 150, 173, 89, 22 and 137 respectively.

The areas in Chennai city that have air quality stations are Alandur bus depot has 45 AQI and Velachery has an AQI of 35.

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