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Kejriwal hopes Centre, neighbours act as air quality turns poor

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New Delhi, Oct 11, 2019-

As the air quality of the national capital starts deteriorating with the onset of winter, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the city government is doing all it can and hoped that the authorities, including the Centre, Punjab and Haryana governments, also take some concrete steps to curb the pollution.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, he said that Delhi’s air pollution decreased by 25 per cent in the remaining months of the year.

“However, in October-November, the stubble burning in neighbouring states is dangerously polluting the air. The smog is coming. We are taking all the steps that we can at our level in Delhi — Odd-even, Diwali, burning garbage, blowing dust, etc.,” he said.

“I hope that all the authorities will take some concrete steps to end this pollution forever — Central Government, Punjab and Haryana Governments, NGT, SC,” he added.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall quality index (AQI) of the national capital region was recorded as “poor” at 201 on Friday morning.

“The overall air quality of Delhi has entered the poor category for the first time since the Monsoon. The increased biomass fire activity in Haryana and Punjab started to influence Delhi’s AQI.

“Southwest Monsoon has withdrawn from most of northwest India, including Delhi. The surface wind speed continues to be slow and variable with predominant direction from the West. Under these conditions, air quality is predicted to deteriorate for tomorrow but in the poor category. Further air quality is predicted to deteriorate to a higher end of the poor to very poor category for the next two days,” the SAFAR said in a statement.

It said that the situation may become bad with any additional internal (like firecrackers) or external (like stubble) emission source.

“In a landlocked city like Delhi, it may lead to rapid accumulation and may trigger high pollution events. However, if local emissions are controlled it will be a good check to observe and avoid air quality crises,” it said.

Last month, Kejriwal had announced a seven-point action plan to combat air pollution during the stubble burning and winter season.

The steps included the implementation of Odd-Even, community Diwali laser show, pollution masks, deployment of environment marshals and dust control plan.  (Agency)

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