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JAN 31 2017

Delhi: Air quality 'very poor' on Republic Day, breaches safety levels by up to three times

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Tue 31st JAN 2017

Air quality in the national capital remained 'very poor' on Thursday, January 26, as the country celebrated its 68th Republic Day.

During the parade hours, the level of particulates violated safe standards by up to three times when thousands thronged Rajpath for Republic Day celebration. According to SAFAR, the running average of PM 2.5 and PM 10, dominant ultrafine particulates in Delhi's air, were 130 and 236 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, as against 60 and 100 that are considered safe.

However, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC)'s real-time monitoring system showed that the volume of of PM 2.5 and PM 10 shot up to 199 and 237 micrograms per cubic metres at the RK station between 10-11.30 AM today.

At Mandir Marg, the corresponding readings were 144 and 390. Situation later improved as rains lashed the city that helped in dispersing the pollutants. Overcast weather also left many dejected at the Republic Day parade. Thick cloud cover curtained the flypast of Indian Air Force jets, a major attraction at the annual parade.

Very poor conditions have been prevailing in Delhi over the past few weeks.

In wake of high toxic pollution levels, the Supreme Court-empowered green panel EPCA has rolled out several measures that are to be enforced under the current pollution levels as per the Centre's Graded Response Action Plan.

In November last year, Delhi witnessed its worst smog in 17 years, which led to the closure of more than 5,000 schools in the national capital and resulted in an estimated 4.41 million children missing classes for three days. The steps were taken as preventive measures and to minimise the risk for children exposed to the polluted air.



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