New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid degrading air quality in the National Capital, the Central Pollution Control Board has issued guidelines advising people to stay indoors and avoid going outdoors. It directed the government and private offices to reduce vehicle usage by at least 30 percent in view of severe air pollution as Delhi-NCR recorded the worst AQI of the season on Friday, November 12.

Delhi recorded its 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) at 471 by 4 pm, the worst this season so far. It was 411 on Thursday. Also, Faridabad recorded the AQI of (460), Ghaziabad (486), Greater Noida (478), Gurugram (448), and Noida (488) and adjoining cities recorded severe air quality at 4 pm.

In order, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said that at a review meeting held earlier in the day, it was observed that meteorological conditions will be highly unfavorable for dispersion of pollutants till November 18 in view of low winds with calm conditions during the night. The city has been recording severe air quality for the past few days after Diwali.

During the meeting, it was also observed that the contribution of stubble burning in pollution is likely to remain high due to North-westerly winds and increased instances of burning of crop residue.

The CPCB said, "Government and private offices and other establishments are advised to reduce vehicle usage by at least 30 per cent (by working from home, car-pooling, optimising field activities, etc). People are advised to limit outdoor activities and minimise their exposure.”

It also said that the implementing agencies, at appropriate level, must closely monitor actions taken and submit daily report to the pollution control boards and committees concerned which will review and further submit reports to the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) and CPCB.

“Concerned agencies must be in complete readiness for implementation of measures under 'emergency' category as per GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan),” it said.

CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava observed that, in view of unfavourable meteorology, stubble burning and poor dispersion resulting in accumulation of pollutants, the coming week is critical with regard to air quality in Delhi-NCR.

As per the Central Pollution Control Board, the 24-hour average concentration of lung destroying particles known as PM2.5 in Delhi-NCR crossed the 300 mark around midnight and stood at 381 micrograms per cubic metre at 4 pm. It crossed the safe limit and multiplied it self 6 times of 60 micrograms per cubic metre.

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Ashita Singh