Climate Action

Delhi air pollution reaches emergency levels

Air pollution in Delhi reaches severe levels as it calls for emergency action.

  • 03 January 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

Air pollution in Delhi reaches severe levels as it calls for emergency action.

The Air Quality Index on the city’s Central Pollution Control Board recorded the concentration of poisonous particulate matter PM 2.5 as 444, more than twelve times the U.S Government recommended level of 35.

Delhi also encountered severe pollution levels in December due to meteorological conditions.

In October 2018, the Government of India launched the Air Quality Early Warning system, designed to predict extreme air pollution events and give alerts

The air pollution system has been developed jointly by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).

The warning system consists of real time observations of air quality over Delhi region and details about natural aerosols like dust and particulate matter using different satellite data sets and predictions of air pollutants from two different air quality prediction systems based on state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry transport models.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Earth Sciences and Environment, said: “Badarpur thermal power plant is being closed today, western peripheral expressway is likely to become operational in the first week of November, the Central govt. has released nearly 600 crores to concerned states for in-situ management of crop-residue and a slew of mitigation measures have been taken by the government.”

The Government also put a temporary ban on construction activities in an attempt to decrease the air pollution in Delhi.

This news follows a report by the World Health Organisation which states that 90 per cent of children breathe in toxic air every day.

Photograph: Microchip08