Delhi air quality drops to ‘poor’ due to spike in farm fires; EPCA urges neighbouring states to take steps

 Delhi’s air quality has dropped to the “poor” category on Friday and is likely to deteriorate further due to unfavourable meteorological conditions and a spike in farm fires.

The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has directed the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to ban the use of diesel generators, except for essential and emergency services, in the national capital and the neighbouring cities of Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Gurugram.

On Thursday, the national capital recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 208, which falls in the “poor” category. The national capital’s air quality turned poor on Wednesday, the first time since June 29, with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recording a 24-hour average AQI of 215.

The AQI was 230 on June 29. 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”.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the AQI is likely to be recorded in the “poor” category on Friday as well. However, it is expected to improve to the “moderate” category thereafter.

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