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Delhi’s air quality improves slightly after light rain

New Delhi (India) November 15 (TEH): Following light rainfall on Wednesday night, the air quality in the national capital has slightly improved on Thursday, bringing down the pollution level to ‘very poor’ category from ‘hazardous’.According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of New Delhi recorded at 342 at around 9:09 am as compared to 419 on the previous day.The AQI around Lodhi Road recorded PM 10 levels at 200 and PM 2.5 levels at 336. PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels around the Delhi University are slightly higher with 259 and 345 respectively.”Air quality has improved significantly mainly due to sufficient rainfall last night to wash away bigger particles and created space for faster dispersion without a decline in temperature. AQI is back to ‘very poor.’ It may recover further today. A slight increase in AQI is predicted next three days but is likely to remain in very poor,” said SAFAR in a statement.After battling the thick fog for days, the residents of national capital are taking the sigh of relief following the rain. “The weather is quite pleasant. There is no smog. The air is somewhat breathable,” said a jogger.Taking the cognizance of Delhi’s worsening pollution level, the chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) Bhure Lal has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to discuss the matter of restricting private vehicles during severe and prolonged pollution episode with Graded Response Action Plan task force.While suggesting corrective measures to CPCB, Lal wrote, “In this situation, the only option is to look at either a complete ban on all private vehicles (without the identification of petrol or diesel), other than CNG and/or restriction on plying by number plate (odd-even). However, please note that the odd-even scheme, as practiced in other cities for similar pollution abatement, is done for extended hours and includes all private vehicles.”Recently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) also formed a committee, headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice S P Garg to check the causes of air pollution in Delhi. (TEH)

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