Air

Delhi air pollution crisis: CPCB advises offices to make employees ‘work from home’

The suggestion came as the overall air quality in the national capital remained ‘severe’ for a second consecutive day

 
By Shagun Kapil
Published: Friday 06 November 2020
Delhi air pollution crisis: CPCB advises offices to make employees ‘work from home’. Photo: @DilipMehtaEsq / Twitter
 The overall air quality in Delhi remained ‘severe’ for a second consecutive day November 6, 2020. Photo: @DilipMehtaEsq / Twitter The overall air quality in Delhi remained ‘severe’ for a second consecutive day November 6, 2020. Photo: @DilipMehtaEsq / Twitter

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has asked government and private offices as well as other establishments in the national capital to make their employees work from home or do car-pool to attend office.

The advice came as the overall air quality in Delhi remained ‘severe’ for a second consecutive day November 6, 2020.

The suggestion regarding employees was made in a meeting of the CPCB task force on the Graded Action Response Plan November 5. It was made in order to reduce vehicle usage by at least 30 per cent.

The suggestion comes at a time when many studies have suggested that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) worsens due to air pollution.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi for the past 24 hours averaged 406, according to the CPCB.

An AQI of 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’. Above 500 is the ‘severe-plus or emergency’ category.

At least 19 of the 35 areas monitored by the CPCB, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and India Meteorological Department, were in the ‘severe’ category and the rest in ‘very poor’.

Major hotspot pollution areas were Rohini, Jahangirpuri, Bawana, Dwarka, ITO, Wazirpur, Sonia Vihar and Vivek Vihar, among others.

Worryingly for Delhi residents, the air quality has turned severe even before Diwali, when the smoke from firecrackers usually creates a smog-like situation for days.

A combination of factors — unfavourable weather conditions like dip in temperature and calm surface winds, local pollution sources and transport of smoke from stubble burning in neighbouring regions — has contributed to the worsening air quality.

The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration was around 21 per cent November 6.

Total fire counts over Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, synergised by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, were 3,225 November 6.

“The boundary layer wind direction is northerly, partly favourable for fire-related intrusion,” SAFAR said.

Air quality in the neighbouring towns of Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, and Faridabad was ‘severe’, while it was ‘very poor’ in Gurugram.

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