New Delhi: The hazardous smog, worst in 17 years, which has kept the national capital shrouded since Diwali on Friday lingered on, as the overall air quality oscillated between ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories. A senior IMD official said the pollutants are barely dispersing due to calm wind movement and foggy conditions. The situation might improve in the next three-four days, he said.
The 24-hour-average (rolling) of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were 225 and 389 micrograms per cubic metre respectively as per SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) at 6 PM.
Six out of eight stations of SAFAR had air quality in the very poor category while two had an AQI of severe. However, the peak levels of pollution continued to violate the safe limits by over 10 times, even in densely populated areas like RK Puram and border areas like Anand Vihar.
On Thursday, green body CSE had said that according to the Indian Meteorological Department, the city is experiencing the the worst smog with very poor visibility in the last 17 years.
Prolonged exposure to severe category air may affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases while very poor category may cause respiratory illness. Children, elderly and the sick are considered most vulnerable to the harmful effects of hazardous air.
While the city is reeling under heavy pollution level, some schools in the Capital have either shut down till Monday or have suspended morning assembly and sports day celebrations. Shri Ram Schools in Delhi and Gurgaon have suspended classes till Monday. However, Classes 10 and 12 students will have to come to the school as per the schedule. Apart from Shri Ram schools, Nirmal Bhartia, Tagore International School and Heritage School in Gurgaon chose to remain shut for the coming days or postponed their activities.