Delhi-NCR Pollution

Delhi-NCR Residents Gasp For Breath As Air Quality Turns Severe

Delhi-NCR Pollution

As air quality in several parts of Delhi-NCR plunged to the ‘severe’ category on Friday morning, people said they experienced breathing problems and irritation in the eye among others.

There was a thick haze blanketing the skyline of the national capital and adjoining areas as the Air Quality Index (AQI) breached the 400 mark at multiple locations,

As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI stood at 498 in Mundka followed by 491 at Jahangirpuri.

In the RK Puram area and at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3) the AQI was recorded at 486 and 473 respectively.

Moreover, AQI at multiple locations in Noida also plunged to the ‘severe’ category with Sector 62, Sector 1 and Sector 116 recording 483, 413 and 415 respectively.

A resident of Noida said that in the wake of dense smog, he has started experiencing breathing problems.

“I can feel irritation in my throat and difficulty in breathing. There is pollution…Something should be done about it. How will an ill person breathe properly? You can see how the situation is,” he said.

Another resident, Maya Sharma, too, complained of difficulty in breathing.

“My son is going to school. The smog seems to be increasing. No notification regarding the closing of schools has come yet. I am sending him to school by wearing a mask…Precaution should be taken as children are falling ill easily…Breathing has become a little difficult. If online classes take place, children will not fall ill,” she said.

Meanwhile, health experts have advised to follow precautions including wearing masks and avoiding going out unnecessarily.

Dr Dhiren Gupta, senior paediatrician, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that air pollution in the national capital is going to impact more the pediatric age group than adults.

“Pollution is going to impact more the pediatric age group than adults. Once you are exposed during pregnancy, there are very high chance that an unborn newborn will be allergic later on. In infancy, remodelling happens in the lungs and other areas. It impacts their lives.”

He said that nowadays every road is like a smoking zone. “It not only affects patients who are allergic or have asthma but also normal people…Try to avoid going out early in the morning or late in the evening because the pollution level at that time is very high. At most, you can wear an N95 mask… We can take some measures so that we don’t contribute to this pollution,” the health expert added.

Dr Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant Respiratory Critical Care, Apollo Hospital, also advised to follow precautions.

“We are in that time of the year where pollution has started to increase once again. The number of patients with breathing problems has increased. More people have coughs, colds, water and irritation in their eyes, and breathing problems… People of every age are affected by this. The time has come for us to use masks. Go out only when needed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Thursday ordered for all the government and private primary schools to remain shut for the next two days.

In the wake of the worsening air quality, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) invoked the third stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on Thursday.

Stage III of the GRAP is implemented when the AQI hits Severe in the range of 401-450. As part of its response to combat pollution the state government can impose strict restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in certain areas and may suspend physical classes in schools for primary grade children up to Class 5. The Delhi government has since suspended primary school classes. (ANI)

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