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Public health emergency declared in Delhi-NCR as Air Quality deteriorates to "severe-plus"

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Nov 01: A public health emergency has been declared in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) as the Air Quality in the National Capital deteriorated to 'Severe Plus' category. The construction activity has been totally banned till November 5 and using firecrackers has been prohibited for the entire winter season.

Representational Image

This is a public health emergency as air pollution is now hazardous and will have adverse health impacts on all particularly the children, news agency ANI quoted Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, an SC mandated panel, as saying.

[Stubble burning account for 27% of Delhi pollution][Stubble burning account for 27% of Delhi pollution]

In the last 40-50 days, the Air Quality in Delhi-NCR has been deteriorating to hazardous levels like every winter.

On October 14, Delhi's air quality deteriorated further and AQI plunged to the 239-mark, which falls in the 'poor category'.

On October 30, Delhi-NCR's air quality deteriorated to the 'severe' category.

What is 'Severe-Plus' Air Quality:

Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool to showcase air quality status. It transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number and colour. AQI has six categories of air quality. These are: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe. Each of these categories is decided based on ambient concentration values of air pollutants and their likely health impacts. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience health effects.

An AQI between 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' emergency category.

Areas in NCR:

The city which is considered India's Capital (National Capital) is New Delhi. The NCR is a vast area which encompasses some regions from both neighbouring states Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and a few other regions adjoining Delhi are in Uttar Pradesh, but part of NCR or National Capital Region. Similarly, Faridabad and Gurgaon are in Haryana but part of NCR.

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