Amid the spike in air pollution, Delhi Environment Minister and AAP leader Gopal Rai said on Sunday that the stubble burning in Punjab does not have as much impact on the national capital as the smoke coming from farm fires in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The minister said that as per the Centre’s data, cases of stubble burning in Punjab have been reduced.
“Central government figures show that less stubble has been burned in Punjab this year in comparison to last year. Punjab’s stubble smoke does not have as much impact on Delhi as that of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. This is because there is no movement in the wind. Only if the wind blows, the smoke of Punjab will reach Delhi. Right now, there is smoke all around Delhi. The smoke of stubble from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is reaching Delhi,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the fourth consecutive day, the air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘Severe’ category on Sunday.
According to the data issued by SAFAR-India, the air quality in the Lodhi Road area was recorded at 385 (Very Poor) while at Delhi University area stands at 456 (Severe).
ANI drone camera footage from the Qutub Minar area showed a thick layer of haze in the air.
A morning walker in Lodhi Garden complained of difficulty in breathing due to an increase in pollution.
“The situation of pollution is extremely poor. It is difficult to breathe these days. Several people used to come to Lodhi Garden earlier, but now only 10 per cent of people are coming here. Pollution is at its maximum this year,” Manohar Lal said.
Another person, Ajay, said that the pollution is causing a burning sensation in the eyes.
“The situation of pollution is such that we are experiencing a burning sensation in our eyes. The situation was better earlier, but now it is getting worse,” he added.
A similar situation was recorded in Noida, as air quality plunged to the’severe’ category with AQI at 466, as per SAFAR-India.
Gurugram recorded an AQI of 392, keeping the air quality under the ‘Very Poor’ category.
According to doctors, for any healthy person, a recommended AQI should be less than 50, but these days the AQI has spiked beyond 400, which could prove fatal for those suffering from lung-related diseases and even poses a risk of lung cancer.
Amid the rise in pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday sought responses from the Chief Secretaries of the affected states and directed to take immediate remedial action and submit the action taken report before the Tribunal.
NGT in a statement said that immediate action is required for the prevention and control of air pollution in these cities so as to ensure better air quality to the residents.
“In view of the NGT seeks response of Chief Secretaries of the States where the cities AQI has dipped to severe, very poor and poor, are directed to take immediate remedial action and submit action taken report before the Tribunal,” added the statement.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)