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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW DELHI — Air pollution in the Indian capital New Delhi rose to severe category amid strong cold wave and dense fog across north India, said Indian authorities on Sunday.
Several areas in the capital recorded Air Quality Index above 400 on a scale of 500 mark, according to the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Munirka, RK Puram, Nehru Nagar, Dwaraka, Pusa and Anand Vihar were the worst affected regions in the capital as air quality index registered above 400. Any reading above 400 is considered dangerous even for the healthy people.
Delhi is considered one of the most polluted cities in the world according to several studies on global air quality.
The deteriorating air quality is attributed to industrial and vehicular pollution, construction related pollution and burning of stubbles in neighboring states.
The authorities had imposed restrictions on construction and demolition, vehicle movement and running of polluting industries.
The air quality deteriorated for several weeks as the Indian capital came under dense fog that affected train and aircraft services.
Earlier this month, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) issued orders to impose a ban on non-essential construction work and the operation of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi-NCR due to the deteriorating air quality in the region.
However, certain exemptions have been granted for construction work related to national security or defense, projects of national importance, healthcare, railways, metro rail, airports, interstate bus terminals, highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation, and water supply.
The India Meteorological Department has forecast dense to very dense fog at most places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi, at many places over Uttar Pradesh, at a few places over Uttarakhand, at isolated places over the northern parts of Rajasthan and dense fog at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir and the lower division of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.
IMD has said that the mercury would plunge further in the first week of January 2024, with temperature hovering between 10 and 7 degrees Celsius at the Safdarjung Observatory in the national capital.
Several north Indian states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand also came under intense cold wave. — Agencies
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