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Delhi choked and breathless as air quality becomes 'severe'

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New Delhi, Nov 03: The residents of Delhi woke up to a thick layer of smog on Thursday as the air quality in the national capital and adjoining areas dipped to 'severe' category amid continuous stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.

Delhi choked and breathless as air quality becomes severe

The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital at 8 am was at 364 (in the 'Very Poor' category) and at 7 am the recorded AQI stood at 408 ('Severe').

AAP turned Delhi into gas chamber: Union environment minister targets Kejriwal govtAAP turned Delhi into gas chamber: Union environment minister targets Kejriwal govt

The air quality in Anand Vihar was recorded in the 'severe' category due to poor dispersion of pollutants owing to weak winds, as per data released by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research).

Meanwhile, the air quality in Noida slipped to an AQI of 422, in the 'severe' category, while Gurugram's AQI stood at 318 and continued to remain in the 'very poor category'. The AQI near IGI Airport (T3) also stood in the 'Very Poor' category today at 346.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

AQI values between 300+ a health alert, meaning everyone may experience more serious health effects.

The air quality in the national capital started deteriorating from October 24 with the AQI slipping to the 'very poor' category from 'poor'. According to reports, Pollution around Diwali was the lowest in 7 years, as the weather conditions were a game changer. Pollution levels crept up on the night of October 23 amid a drop in temperature and wind speed and due to people bursting firecrackers and a rise in the number of farm fires.

In a scathing attack on Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday shared a graphic and statistics on Twitter to explain how the party is responsible for turning Delhi into a 'gas chamber' and accused it of a 'scam'.

Arvind Kejriwal government gets notice as Delhi’s air quality remains very poorArvind Kejriwal government gets notice as Delhi’s air quality remains very poor

"As of today, Punjab, a state run by the AAP government, has seen an over 19% rise in farm fires over 2021. Haryana has seen a 30.6% drop. Just today, Punjab saw 3,634 fires. There is no doubt over who has turned Delhi into a gas chamber," Yadav tweeted.

"Scam is where AAP is. In the last 5 years, the Central Government gave ₹ 1,347 crore for crop residue management machines to Punjab. The state bought 1,20,000 machines. 11,275 of those machines have gone missing. Money utilisation shows clear incompetence," he wrote.

"Last year, ₹ 212 crore were left unspent. This year, the Central Govt gave Punjab ₹ 280 crore for crop residue management machines. So about ₹ 492 crore was available but the state govt chose to sit with the funds forcing helpless farmers to burn the crop residue," the minister alleged.

Targeting Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Yadav said,"The Chief Minister of Punjab has failed to even provide relief to farmers in his own turf of Sangrur. Last year (Sept 15-Nov 2) farm fires in Sangrur stood at 1,266. This year they have shot up by 139% rising to 3,025."

Kejriwal attacks Centre

Meanwhile, AAP national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal blamed the central government for rising incidents of stubble burning in Punjab and said it should 'resign' if it cannot control air pollution.

"Why does the Central government and the BJP hate the farmers so much? It is because of this hatred of the BJP for the farmers that there is so much smoke in the air all over northern India. We have to give solution to the farmers. Whatever the Delhi government can do at its level, we are doing it," said the AAP chief.

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