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Air Pollution: Delhi's AQI Improves to 307 as Winds Sweep City; Gopal Rai to Chair High-level Meet on Curbs

People feed seagulls from a boat at Yamuna river, on a smoggy morning in New Delhi. (Image: Reuters)

People feed seagulls from a boat at Yamuna river, on a smoggy morning in New Delhi. (Image: Reuters)

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will hold a high-level meeting today to review curbs imposed to bring down pollution levels in the national capital.

Strong surface winds brought some relief from high pollution levels in Delhi and improved visibility on Monday morning, officials said. The air quality index of the city stood at 307, which falls in the very poor category. However, it was down from 349 the previous day.

The air quality index of Gurugram, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Noida stood at 318, 213, 326 and 268 respectively. An AQI between zero 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.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will on Monday hold a high-level meeting to review the curbs imposed to contain high pollution levels in the city. Winds gusting up to 20 kmph swept through the city, dispersing pollutants partially and improving visibility.

The minimum temperature on Monday was recorded at 12 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year. The relative humidity at 8.30 am was recorded at 78 per cent. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 27 degrees Celsius.

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The Delhi government on Sunday had extended the ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the city and work from home for its employees till November 26 to combat air pollution and minimise its health effects. According to the directions of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), schools and colleges will remain closed till further orders, a senior official said.

A senior central government official had said the CAQM will hold a review meeting on November 23. “Keeping in view the very poor air quality forecast and that vehicular pollution would cause extensive air pollution and release harmful air pollutants, particularly when the air quality is very poor, it is felt that there is a need for further extension of the curbs on vehicular movement in Delhi," the order issued by the environment department said.

“Stop entry of trucks in Delhi except the trucks carrying essential commodities till November 26, subject to further review for an extension of this date," it had added. “All offices of GNCT of Delhi/autonomous bodies/corporations shall remain closed till November 26 except those involved in essential and emergency services…. However, all the officers/officials shall work from home," the order said.

Following orders from the CAQM, the Delhi government had on Wednesday issued 10 directions, including a ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the city and a closure of schools and colleges, till further orders.

With inputs from PTI.

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first published:November 22, 2021, 07:00 IST