New Delhi: A thick blanket of haze and smog enveloped Delhi and its surrounding regions on Thursday with the pollution further intoxicating the atmosphere and the air quality plummeting to 'very poor' category.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the capital in the morning was recorded 335, considered as 'very poor'.
The AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 falls under the category of poor. 300-400 is considered as 'very poor' and range between 401-500 falls under the category as 'hazardous'.
The forecasting agency has predicted that the air quality of the region is likely to show slight improvement due to the change in wind speed.
"The air quality is very poor. It is likely to improve due to a slight increase in wind speed but will remain in very poor for the next two days and then increase. Due to cold front up in the north, the wind speed has increased so a decline is expected. However, at the time of withdrawal after 2-3 days, a lot of moisture may enter in Delhi which is not favourable for air quality. The contribution from stubble biomass is nil," it said.
Speaking to ANI, Richa Bhardwaj, a resident of Pitampura said, "The pollution level is so high that even the masks are not working properly. Being the middle class, buying masks every week is pinching our pockets. The government must take some substantial steps in order to curb the menace."
Amish Gupta, a tea seller in Noida, also complained about the increasing pollution in the national capital and stated that being asthmatic, the toxic air is making it difficult for him to be outdoors for long hours. "My business is such that I have to be outdoors for more than 11 hours in a day. I am asthmatic and sometimes suffer from breathlessness and fatigue. I hope this issue gets resolved at the earliest," he said.
According to the findings of the State of Global Air 2018 report released by the Health Effect Institute (HEI) in Boston on April 17, air pollution remains among the top killers worldwide.
"Long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution has contributed to 6.1 million premature deaths from stroke, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease and to a loss of 106 million life years lost worldwide in 2016. This makes air pollution the fourth-highest cause of death among all health risks, after high blood pressure, diet, and smoking," the report stated.
The report also revealed that more than 7 billion people or 95 per cent of the world population residing across the globe breathe toxic and unsafe air....