Air Quality Worsens in the Capital; How is Your City Breathing?

Delhi-NCR continued to battle hazardous levels of pollution, with today’s AQI reading of 650 being worse than yesterday’s 472.

Schools remained closed for the second day today in the capital as the Delhi Government followed a directive from the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. Today also marks the last day of Delhi CM Kejriwal’s Odd-Even Scheme and no plans to extend it, despite the public health emergency, have been announced so far.

Meanwhile, Mumbai and Kolkata still see unhealthy air quality today. Bengaluru and Hyderabad fare slightly better, although they are still marked ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups.’ Chennai fared the best at an AQI of 91.

Also Read: Smog, Smog Everywhere: How To Protect Kids from Air Pollution?

Yesterday, several children from Delhi wrote to Prime Minister Modi, urging him to take steps to ensure that they get clean air to breathe.

"I used to enjoy soccer earlier but now I can only enjoy it on TV. I cannot play outside because the air is too toxic to breathe in," Ishan Mahant, a student, said in his missive.

Many students posted copies of their handwritten letters on Twitter with the hashtag “BacchonKeMankiBaat”.

"At this point we need a strong directive from the government of India and the governments of the states affected to control this serious condition. We do have belief in our beloved Prime Minister who will surely take strong decision on this," said another student.

Here’s what the numbers mean. The World Health Organisation identifies pollution levels are ranging from:

  • 0 - 50: Good. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
  • 51-100: Satisfactory. Air quality is acceptable; may be a moderate health concern for sensitive people.
  • 101-200: Moderate. Sensitive groups (with lung, heart diseases) may experience health issues.
  • 201-300: Poor. Everyone may begin to experience health issues like respiratory problems.
  • 301-400: Very Poor. Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is likely to be affected.
  • 401-500: Severe. Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health issues.

If you wish to check the air quality index of your city, click on this link: https://www.thequint.com/quintlab/widgets/air-quality-index/

(Delhi is in a public health emergency and schools have been shut. The air outside is visibly toxic - how has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at FIT@thequint.com. )

(With inputs from PTI)

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