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No end to Delhi’s air pollution woes, schools closed again

No end to Delhi’s air pollution woes, schools closed again

dpa
New Delhi
The first days of December saw air quality plummeting again to the “severe” level in Delhi after the Indian capital saw the worst pollution in November in six years.
At least three state-run monitoring stations recorded fine particulate matter PM2.5 levels of above 400 on Thursday. This is several times the limit deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Supreme Court rapped the federal and state governments once again for failing to address the issue and the Delhi government announced that schools, which opened for three days last week as air quality improved, were to be closed again from Friday.
Construction and demolition work has also been stopped.
Central Pollution Control Board data showed that Delhi’s average air quality index (AQI), that measures particulate matter, was 377 this November compared to a range of 312 to 374 in the last six years, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.
There were also 11 “severe” pollution days, which is the most hazardous level, this November, compared to nine in 2020, seven in 2019 and five in 2018.
Experts ascribe the high pollution levels this year to the late withdrawal of the monsoon leading to more farmers burning stubble within a short period of time as they prepare for the next sowing season, besides weather factors including lack of winds.
The Supreme Court gave the federal and state governments of Delhi and its neighbours 24 hours to take steps to curb pollution levels failing which it said it would take strict action, according to legal reporting website LiveLaw.

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