Delhi’s air quality turns ‘severe’, hazy conditions to prevail

An Indian Hindu devotee drinks water from a tap during a dust storm at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, in Allahabad. — AFP photo

NEW DELHI: The quality of air in India’s Delhi and surrounding areas has worsened during the past 24 hours, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Hazy condition even continues to prevail due to the incoming dusty storms from the western state of Rajasthan which is facing extremely dry weather conditions with high temperatures and wind speeds.

The ‘severe’ condition of air quality forced the country’s Ministry of Environment to appeal to the people to avoid prolonged outdoor exposure.

The ministry also cautioned that the current dusty conditions are likely to continue over the next three days in the Indian capital and its surrounding areas.

The air quality is being equated to what was witnessed in winter, even as the ‘PM10’ levels shot up to over eight times than the safe standards.

The government authorities in Delhi and surrounding states have jointly issued directions to the concerned authorities to carry out sprinkling of water to bring down the dust in the air over the next couple of days.

“Major construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have been alerted to ensure water sprinkling, as required,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Environment.

It further said that the high pollution levels witnessed presently in the Indian capital are “unusual” and primarily due to dust storms from Rajasthan.

The wind direction in Delhi since Sunday has changed to West and North West and then since Tuesday to West and South West, due to which hot air, along with dust from Rajasthan has started moving into Delhi. — Bernama

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